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549 & 551 BROADWAY. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in tiie year 1873, 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

A 3 5 L> 



MAY, 1873. 


THE waves upon water are always objects of pleasing interest. 
From the ripples of the pond to the billows of the ocean, their 
beauty and their sublimity are sources of perennial inspiration to the 
poet and the painter. But there is an invisible realm of air- waves 
of a far subtler and more wonderful order. The water-waves belong 
to the sensuous eye and to art, but the aerial pulsations belong to the 
eye of the imagination and to science, the great revelator of the super- 
sensuous harmonies of the universe. Water-waves afford an agreeable 
spectacle, and have little further concern for us ; but the waves of air 
take hold of our highest life, for the multitudinous sounds of Nature 
by which we are soothed and exhilarated, all the delights of music, 
the pleasures of speech, and the sweet experiences of social intercourse, 
are made possible only through their agency. Besides, air-waves form 
one link in the chain of agencies by which we pass from the material to 
the spiritual world. The first is the capacity by which matter may be 
thrown into vibration; second, the properties of air by which it can 
take up the impulses of vibration in the form of waves ; third, those 
properties of the mechanism of hearing by which it can take up the 
motion of air-pulses ; and, fourth, those properties of nerves by which 
they can take up the tympanic vibrations and translate them into 
feeling or consciousness. How the last step is effected we do not 
know, but many of the preliminary conditions to it are understood, 
and to some of these we ask the reader's attention. 

All sound begins in those collisions and attritions among material 
things by which their parts are thrown into tremors. These are al- 
most as various in quality as the properties of material substances. 
The sounds we hear are but indices to the vibrations of bodies from 
which they proceed, and the multitude of such terms as splash, roar, 
ring, thud, crack, whiz, squeak, crash, illustrate the marvellous diver- 
sity of characters which material vibrations may take. In the pro- 
tol. in. 1 


duction of noise, the thrills of matter are transient and irregular, but, 
when prolonged and regular, they give rise to musical sounds. Vibra- 
tion depends upon elasticity, and bodies which are capable of the pro- 
tracted and measured pulsations of music must, of course, be highly 
elastic. We have said that bodies vibrate differently, and this de- 
pends upon the nature, form, and magnitude of the mass in motion. 
The vibrations of bells differ with their sizes and the metals and alloys 
which compose them; while wooden and metallic tubes, strained 
strings, and stretched membranes, illustrate the same thing. If a 
tense wire be plucked aside, it executes lateral vibrations which differ 
with its varying length, strain, and density. It may vibrate as a 
whole (1), Fig. 1, while, by relaxing the tension, or by touching or 
damping it at different points, it may be made to break up into differ- 
ent systems of vibration as shown in (2), (3), (4), Fig. 1. The points 
of rest in such cases are called nodes. Rods and tubes of wood or 
glass may be made to vibrate longitudinally by rubbing them length- 
wise with the rosined fingers or a damp cloth. Fig. 2 represents a 
glass tube, six feet long and two inches in diameter, which, by being 
vigorously rubbed in this way, was set into such violent vibration that 
it went to pieces. 

Fig. 1. 

A String in Different Phases of Vibration. 

If thin plates of glass or metal be clamped in the centre, and fine 
sand scattered over the surface, they may be set into vibration, and 
the sand will be tossed away from certain parts of the surface and col- 
lected in other parts, forming regular geometrical figures. The sand 
collects at the lines of rest, which are called nodal lines. Fig. 3 rep- 
resents this experiment, the vibration being produced by a fiddle-bow, 
while the application of the fingers at different points determines the 
lines of rest and the geometrical figures. Fig. 4 represents a number 
of the beautiful patterns that were obtained by Chladni, who first 
drew attention to this interesting phenomenon. 


Fig. 2. 

Now, in order that all these multifarious and diversified tremblings 
of natural objects may be brought into relation with animate creatures 
a common medium of communication is necessary. The air around us 
is such a medium. It possesses the marvellous power of taking up 
the numberless and ever-varying thrills of material 
objects, and conveying them through space with all 
their peculiarities. The sensitiveness of the air (if 
we may so speak) to the faintest tremors in material 
objects, and its power of transmitting their indi- 
vidual qualities, are most wonderful. It drinks up 
the infinitesimal motions of things, and diffuses them 
swiftly, simultaneously, and in countless myriads in 
all directions around. 

That air is the medium of sound is proved by the 
fact that, when vibrations occur in space void of air, 
the silence is not broken. If a bell suspended by a 
string in a vacuum be struck, nothing is heard, al- 
though, if it is in contact with the jar, the vibra- 
tions are communicated to the outer air, and sounds 
produced. That air transmits the kind of motion 
that it receives is also proved by the fact that it will 
take up vibrations at one point and communicate 
them to a distant object that is capable of vibrat- 
ing in the same way. 

The velocity of impulses in the air which pro- 
duce sound has been well established, and all kinds 
of shocks the firing of a gun, notes of a musical 
instrument, or the voice, whether high or low, harsh 
or soft all move at the same rate. The velocity 
is not affected by changes in atmospheric pressure or 
moisture, or by rain or snow, but it is affected by wind 
and by temperature. The speed of sound is 1,090 
feet per second at the freezing-point, and increases 
about one foot per second for each degree of ascent 
on the Fahrenheit scale. It, therefore, takes longer 
to hear in winter than in summer. In many parts 
of the country the change of temperature is so great that the velocity 
of sound will vary more than 100 feet a second in the different seasons. 
Sound moves in air with about the speed of a cannon-ball, and at a 
rate ten times greater than the swiftest motion of air in a hurricane. 
The sound produced in the open air tends to move in all directions 
with equal speed, but this tendency may be disturbed by various con- 
ditions. If the whole mass of air is moving in one direction, sound 
will travel faster with it than against it. In still air the sound of a 
musket-shot will be heard farthest in the direction of the impulse. Ex- 
periments have shown that a person speaking in the open air can be 

Tube fracttteed bt 


heard about equally well at a distance of 100 feet in front, 75 feet on 
each side, and 30 feet behind. When an obstacle checks a sound in 
one direction it can be heard farther in others, because, as a given 
amount of force produces a given amount of motion, if the motion is 
arrested in some directions, it is increased in others. 

We have now seen that air is the common vehicle of sound, and 
that the sound-impulse moves in all directions at a high speed/ But 
what is it that actually moves ? The particles of air are certainly not 
shot from the vibrating body to the ear, for then we should live in the 
midst of storms ten times more violent than tropical cyclones. The 
wonderful elastic properties of gases here come into play. The vibra- 
tions of bodies produce waves or pulses in the air. It is the same in 
effect as with water-waves. When we throw a stone into a quiet pool, 
the ripples chase each other in circles to the shore, but the water itself 

Fig. 3. 

Vibrations or a Clamped Plate. 

does not move forward. The floating straw is not borne along, but 
merely rises and falls in its place, and so the particles of water only 
oscillate uj;> and down in circles, and, communicating their motion to 
the adjacent particles, there is an outward transference of force by 
wave-action, and the water-particles move up and down while the wave 
moves forward. Air-waves exemplify the same principle, but in a dif- 
ferent way. A vibrating body throws the contiguous air into move- 
ment, and produces the wave. But the air-particles oscillate backward 
and forward or in the same direction as the advancing wave. The 
oscillations in water are transversal ; in air, they are said to be longitu- 
dinal. The mode of movement may be rudely illustrated by a row of 
glass balls such as are employed in the game of " Solitaire." If a 
dozen of them are placed in a groove in contact (Fig. 5), and One of 
them be withdrawn with the hand and lightly struck against its neigh- 
bor, the motion imparted to the first ball is delivered up to the second, 


Fig. 4 

Chlajdni's Figuees of Yibkating Plates. 

that to the third, and so on, while the last ball only of the row flies 
away. The balls being elastic, the first one struck is not pushed from 
its position, but is slightly compressed, and then expanding it com- 
presses the second, which, again expanding, compresses the third ; 
and so there is propagated a series of compressions and expansions 



through the row. In a similar way the action of a vibrating body 
upon the air is to produce a series of condensations and rarefactions 
which are sent successively forward through the atmosphere, and each 
condensation, with its associated rarefaction, constitutes a sonorous 
wave. This is illustrated in Fig. 6, where A B represents a tuning- 
fork in vibration. As the prong, , strikes against the air, its particles 
are driven together or condensed in front of it, and, as the prong re- 
' treats, it leaves a partial vacuum behind. Each vibration thus gen- 

Fig. 5. 

Propagation of Impulses through Balls. 

erates a wave. The oscillations of the air-particles are communicated 
to the adjacent particles, and the impulse is sent forward. In Fig. 
6, b c d represent the condensations, and b' c d' the accompanying 
rarefactions in the propagation of impulses through the air. 

If, now, we imagine these dark and light spaces prolonged in cir- 
cles round the tuning-fork, we shall have an idea of the way sound 
moves in all directions. We are to conceive of air- waves as bubbles 
or spheres, which rapidly expand from the point of vibration, and 
chase each other outward with the speed of musket-balls. 

"We have said that the waves of sound take place in an invisible 
realm, yet it is in the power of science to bring them into view. This 
triumph of experiment is due to a German named Toepler. Prof. 
Rood has given an account of it in his admirable lecture on the " Mys- 
teries of the Voice and Ear." It depends upon the principle that, 
" when light which is travelling through the atmosphere meets with a 
denser or rarer layer, it is usually turned a little out of its straight 
path a very little but enough, sometimes, to render the layer actu- 
ally visible, if proper optical means are employed." But, how is a 
wave to be made visible, if it moves with the speed of a cannon-ball, 
" which goes so fast we cannot see it ? " It is by getting a glimpse 
of it so quickly that it has no time to move, and appears as if at rest. 
Those who have seen a railway-train at high speed illuminated by a 
flash of lightning, will remember that it appeared as if standing still. 
So, if a cannon-ball were passing through a darkened room, and could 
be illuminated by an electric flash, it would seem to be at rest in mid- 
air. By suitable arrangements, and the use of the electric spark, Prof. 


Toepler caught the air-waves on the instant, and got a glimpse of their 
circular, and even their shaded aspect. 

We have said that "the difference between noise and music is, that 
in noise the waves strike the ear irregularly, while in music they are 
regular, and so rapid as to blend together. Any sound which becomes 
continuous by rapid periodic strokes is said to be musical. " If a watch, 
for example, could be caused to tick with sufficient rapidity say one 
hundred times a second the ticks would lose their individuality, and 
blend to a musical tone. And, if the strokes of a pigeon's wings could 
be accomplished at the same rate, the progress of the bird through 
the air would be accompanied by music. In the humming-bird, the 
necessary rapidity is attained ; and, when we pass on from birds to 
insects, where the vibrations are more rapid, we have a musical note 
as the oi'dinary accompaniment of the insect's flight." 

Sounds vary in pitch, and the pitch depends upon the rate of vibra- 
tion. The greater the number of vibrations in a second, the shorter 
and quicker are the waves, and the higher the tone. It has been de- 
termined, in various ways, exactly how many vibrations there are in 

Fig. 6. 

a a 

Constitution of Ate-Waves 

each musical note. Savart employed a toothed wheel, which could be 
set in motion at any desired rate of speed, and which had attached a 
small recording apparatus that gave the number of revolutions in a 
second. Fig. 7 represents the mechanism, and the mode of using it. 
While the wheel is in revolution, a thin visiting-card, or a piece of 
pasteboard, is held against its toothed edge. The card is bent a little 
by each tooth, as it goes by, and springs back to its first position as 
soon as it is released. When the wheel is turned slowly, there is heard 
only a succession of taps, distinctly separable one from another; but, as 
the rapidity of the rotations increases, the number of strokes increases 
also, and they soon unite to form a musical sound, while, exactly as 
the motion is accelerated, the sound rises in pitch. In this way it is 
possible to count the number of vibrations in producing every note in 
the musical scale. 


The usual range of hearing lies between 16 vibrations in a second 
and about 38,000 vibrations per second. Starting with 16 vibrations 
per second, as the number is increased we have a series of rising mu- 
sical notes, until the number is doubled, and an octave is produced 
with 32 vibrations per second. Increasing them from this point, the 
notes rise in pitch until they are again doubled, and we have the sec- 
ond octave with 64 vibrations per second. By thus ascending through 
11 octaves, the number of vibrations reached would be 32,768 per sec- 
ond ; but all the notes comprised within these limits cannot be em- 
ployed in music. Tyndall states that the practical range of musical 

Fig. 7. 


sounds is comprised between 40 and 4,000 vibrations per second, which 
amounts, in round numbers, to seven octaves. Helmholtz says that 
the deepest tone of orchestra instruments is the E of the double bass 
with 41|- vibrations. The new pianos and organs generally go down 
to 33 vibrations. In height, the piano-forte reaches to 3,520 vibrations, 
or sometimes to 4,224 ; while the highest note of the orchestra is that 
of the piccolo flute, with 4,752 vibrations per second. The limits of 
hearing vary in different persons. The squeak of the bat, the sound 
of the cricket, and even the chirrup of the sparrow, cannot be heard 
by some persons. The limit of sensibility often varies by as much as 
two octaves. 

' Waves of water, as everybody knows, vary greatly in magnitude ; 
the riplets of the pool may be not more than an inch in length, while 
the sea-waves may measure a hundred feet from crest to crest. Sound- 


waves also vary greatly in magnitude, though to each rate of vibration 
there corresponds a definite length of wave. Knowing the rate of vi- 
bration per second, and the velocity of sound per second, lengths of 
waves are easily calculated. Take, for example, a tuning-fork that 
Sounds the lowest note of the common D-flute, and it gives 288 vibra- 
tions per second. If, now, it be struck in still air, at the freezing-point, 
the foremost wave will reach a distance of 1,090 feet, at the end of a 
second, while the chain of waves which connects it with the vibrating 
fork will be 288 in number: each wave-link will therefore be about 3 
feet 9 inches long. With few vibrations and deep tones, waves are 
long, while, with rapid vibrations and shrill tones, waves are correspond- 
ingly short. Within the limits of hearing, sound-waves vary in length, 
from 70 feet to a half an inch. " The waves generated by a man's or- 
gans of voice in common conversation are from 8 to 1 2 feet ; those of 
a woman are from 2 to 4 feet in length. Hence, a woman's ordinary 
pitch, in the lower sounds of conversation, is more than an octave 
above a man's ; in the higher sounds it is two octaves." 

But, because the numbers of their oscillations are exactly deter- 
mined, we must not suppose that the motions are so simple, for, as 
Prof. Rood remarks, smooth and clean-cut waves but seldom reach the 
ear. There are compound vibrations which give complexity to wave- 
figures. The large waves at sea are often covered by smaller waves, 
so that the water-particles obey double impulses, and swing in double 
oscillations. It was illustrated, in Fig. 1, that a string may vibrate as 
a whole, or in various subdivisions. When a string or any other body 
vibrates as a whole, it produces its lowest note, which is called the 
fundamental note. But the fundamental note is never perfectly pure. 
It is not possible to sound the string as a whole, without at the same 
time causing the vibrations of its parts. But, as these shorter vibra- 
tions are quicker, they yield notes of a higher pitch, which mingle 
with the fundamental note, and alter its quality. These accompanying 
higher notes may be in harmony with the fundamental note (when 
they are called harmonics), or they may not harmonize with it. The 
sounds emitted by the parts of a vibrating body are called overtones, 
and it is possible for a string to furnish as many as 20 or 30 of these. 
The mingling of the overtones with the fundamental one determines 
the timbre of sound. It is this which gives their peculiar character to 
different musical instruments, and enables us to distinguish them. A 
clarinet and a violin may give the same fundamental note, but their 
overtones are so different that the instruments are never confounded. 

Sound-waves are not only transmitted by the air, but also by liquids 
and solids. That water will convey musical sounds is shown by the 
following experiment : Fig. 8 represents a tube a yard long, set upon 
the wooden tray A B, with a funnel at the top, and filled with water. 
A tuning-fork is attached to a little wooden foot, set into vibration, 
and the foot is then dipped into the water without touching the sides 



of the funnel. The vibrations are transmitted by the liquid to the 
tray below, which is thrown into tremors, and a swelling musical sound 
is the result. 

Vibrations conveyed through Water. 

The following beautiful experiment, described by Prof. Tyndall, 
shows how music may be transmitted by an ordinary wooden rod. In 
a room two floors beneath his lecture-room, there was a piano upon 
which an artist was playing, but the audience could not hear it. A 
rod of deal, with its lower end resting upon the sounding-board of the 
piano, extended upward through the two floors, its upper end being 
exposed before the lecture-table. But still no sound was heard. A 
violin was then placed upon the end of the rod, which was thrown into 
resonance by the ascending thrills, and instantly the music of the piano 
was given out in the lecture-room. A guitar and a harp were substi- 
tuted for the violin, and with the same result. The vibrations of the 
piano-strings were communicated to the sounding-board, they traversed 
the long rod, were reproduced by the resonant bodies above, the 
air was carved into waves, and the whole musical composition was de- 
livered to the listening audience. 

The instrument of hearing in man consists of an external orifice 
about an inch and a half deep in adults, which is closed at the bottom 
by the circular tympanic membrane. This membrane, though mod- 
erately strong, is quite thin, and almost transparent. It is made up 


of fine fibres, some radiating from the central part to the circumfer- 
ence, and others arranged in concentric rings. It is kept gently on 
the stretch by two small muscles, one of which draws it tighter, and 
the other loosens it, by acting upon a chain of small bones. We shall 
not undertake to describe the cui'ious and complicated anatomy of the 
inner ear the drum, containing air, the curious chain-work of minute vi- 
brating bones, the labyrinth filled with water containing little crystalline 
particles and fine elastic bristles, and where the delicate fibres of the 
auditory nerve commence. " There is also," says Tyndall, " in the laby- 
rinth a wonderful organ discovered by the Marchese Corti, which is, to 
all appearance, a musical instrument, with its chords so stretched as to 
accept vibrations of different periods, and transmit them to the nerve- 
filaments which traverse the organ. Within the ears of men, and 
without their knowledge or contrivance, this lute of 3,000 strings (as 
Kolliker estimates) has existed for ages, accepting the music of the outer 
world, and rendering it fit for reception by the brain. Each musical 
tremor which falls upon this organ selects from its tensioned fibres the 
one appropriate to its own pitch, and throws that fibre into unisonant 
vibration. And thus, no matter how complicated the motion of the 
external air may be, those microscopic strings can analyze it, and reveal 
the constituents of which it is composed." By this wonderful apparatus 
are all the tremulous movements of the outer world translated to the 
world within. How the auditory nerve transmits its impressions is 
not a matter of demonstration, but the probability is great that it 
transmits them as it receives them as impulses of motion waves of 
force that are conveyed to the brain and expended in the production of 
those physical motions which are the material conditions and accompani- 
ments of consciousness. That the organ of feeling and thought is itself 
a sphere of vibrations and wave-actions traversing in all directions the 
millions of microscopic fibres which pervade the encephalon, will be 
thought absurd by many : but we know that wave-action is a part of 
the method of Nature ; that it produces the most wonderful effects in 
all the common forms of matter ; that the brain is a material instru- 
ment in the closest physical relation with the outward order; and that 
material changes of some kind within it are the concomitants of its 
exalted functions. That there should be unity in the whole scheme does 
not appear irrational. 

Be this as it may, the marvels of what is known are inexhaustible. 
Could we see what takes place in a room when a tuning-fork is in 
vibration, giving out a single note, we should behold all the particles 
of the air agitated in tremulous sympathy, and filling the space with 
swiftly-expanding spheres of spectral beauty. Or, were the effect pro- 
duced by several instruments concurrently played, we should see the 
forms in countless variety carving the air into ever-changing figures 
of geometrical harmony, and creating the perfect music of geometrical 
form. Such a revelation is impossible, from the swiftness of movement, 


which would foil the eye ; but it would be also impossible, because the 
complications of movement would confuse it. But, where the optical 
sense fails, the auditory sense succeeds. The membrane of the ear re- 
ceives the torrent of motion, and transmits it with all its harmonies. 
In an orchestra, where scores of instruments are playing through the 
whole compass of the scale, the air is cut into waves by every com- 
plexity of vibration grave tones mingle with shrill, soft with harsh, 
fundamentals are merged in overtones, and the storm of impulses is 
shot with the speed of rifle-bullets against the tympanum ; and yet 
there is no confusion. In all their infinite diversity of qualities the 
waves are legible to the little membrane. It vibrates to the lowest 
and to the highest, to each and all, and telegraphs the whole per- 
formance with incomprehensible exactness to its cerebral destination 
and an exquisite work of art is produced in the sphere of pleasurable 
feeling and critical intelligence. 

Our glance at this fascinating subject has been very imperfect, but, 
if any care to pursue it, we recommend them to the admirable book 
of Prof. Tyndall, " On Sound," to which we are indebted for the fore- 
going illustrations, and for many of the facts stated. 





WHAT is instinct ? In what does it differ from intelligence ? 
What explanation can be given of it in the present state of 
the sciences of life ? All these are questions to which a positive an- 
swer is asked for the first time in our day. Philosophers and moralists 
do not in our time concern themselves with the relations or the differ- 
ences between instinct and intelligence; for they have no means of 
solving problems that particularly concern biology. Without going 
farther back, we remember Descartes's strange notion of animal ma- 
chines, adopted by Bossuet, and the whole seventeenth century ; but 
at this time biologists in their turn attack the problem ; anatomy and 
physiology will perhaps give us the solution sought in vain at the 
hands of philosophic and religious systems since the days of Aristotle 
and St. Thomas. 

George Cuvier was the first to draw a clear distinction between 
instinct and intelligence, in the second edition of the "Animal 
Kingdom" (1829), in which he digests the works published during the 
course of several years, by his brother Fredei'ic. The latter, placed 
in control of the menagerie of the museum, believed that it pertained 


to the duties of his post to make a course of connected studies upon 
the animals committed to his charge : he thought, as Geoffroy Saint- 
Hilaire did, that such is the sole purpose of establishments of that kind. 
li There exists in animals," Cuvier tells us, " a faculty distinct from intel- 
ligence, which we term instinct. It makes them do acts which each in- 
dividual performs without ever having seen them done, and which are 
repeated, from generation to generation, invariably the same. Without 
having learned, the animal knows ; it knows from its birth, and knows 
so well, that it never makes a mistake, even in acts of extreme complex- 
ity, the secret of which it seems to bring with it into the world. Young 
ducks hatched under a hen go straight to the nearest piece of water, 
and boldly plunge and swim, in spite of their foster-mother's cries and 
distress. The squirrel lays up its winter stock of hazel-nuts and fil- 
berts ; before it knows what winter is. The shepherd's dog and the 
pointer know how to do the duties expected of them, through a gift 
at birth. The bird hatched in a cage and reared a captive, if set free, 
will build a nest like that its parents built, on the same tree, of the 
same materials, in the same shape. The spider, more amazing still, 
weaves without any lessons the geometric net-work of its web ; and 
the untaught bee builds its comb. Man too has his instinct, as animals 
have. By instinct the new-born child feels for and finds its mother's 
breast ; but instinctive phenomena in man are less easy to determine, 
and their discovery demands careful research, because intelligence 
usually veils them. And yet intelligence is not wanting in animals 
either, only with them instinct has that predominance which intelli- 
gence takes in man." 

With the exception of a few mistakes in details, Cuvier marked 
very accurately the line between the instinctive and the intellectual 
faculties, but he went no further. His character and disposition gave 
him but little taste for penetrating into problems of that kind. With a 
lofty disdain to which posterity has done justice, he left to his rival 
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire the care of inquiring into the origins of vital 
manifestations. Cuvier affirmed simply that every species received 
at its beginning a certain share of intelligence, with a certain provi- 
sion of instinct, so wisely proportioned as to insure the permanence of 
that species till the end of time, or at least till the next revolution in 
our globe. The intelligent race does its part with its faculties as it 
can ; they must suffice for it. The race without intelligence, to make 
up for its want, brings into the world a supply of instinct which aids 
it to make its way. This odd theory of compensation, instinct and 
intellectual faculties respectively complementing each othei", misled 
Cuvier ; it agreed with the general scope of his doctrine ; but it does 
not agree with facts. Those among animals that present the most 
highly-developed instinct are, unquestionably, the insects ; the silky 
tissues of cocoons, the structures wrought by wasps, the beautiful 
works that are treasured in cabinets, bear witness to astonishing in- 


stinctive faculties ; every thing seems to be instinct with the insects, 
and, if Cuvier's idea be adopted, it ought in general to be very poorly 
endowed as regards intelligence. "We shall presently see that the truth 
is completely the reverse. 

Besides, Cuvier had no very accurate knowledge of insects, which 
in his classification he degraded to a place below molluscs. We cannot 
address the same reproach to M. Emile Blanchard, who pursues the 
natural history of articulated animals, at the Jardin des Plantes. We 
regret keenly that in his late work on the " Transformations, Habits, 
and Instincts of Insects," he has not thought fit to follow the sugges- 
tions of such a title, and to dwell a little on that twofold subject of 
intelligence and instinct which would gain by being clearly stated. 
His usual studies and the direction of his labors enable M. Blanchard 
better than any one else to complete a blank which must be supposed 
one of choice only, in his work. The learned professor of the museum 
goes on from Cuvier's starting-point with him, and, with Flourens in his 
last work ("Comparative Psychology," 1865), M. Blanchard distin- 
guishes instinct from intelligence, but he stops there. He makes no at- 
tempt whatever to measure the reciprocal influence of these two kinds 
of faculties in the very complex acts of insect-life ; and, above all, he 
refrains from the study of their intelligence, full of interest as it is. 
" Individuals of the same species," he says, " always perform the same 
works without having learned any thing ; instinct alone guides them." 
Yet, together with this instinct, as M. Blanchard himself admits, there 
are faculties of intellect, which offer greater difficulties of study by 
reason of the existence of those instinctive faculties. These very dif- 
ficulties make the study more worthy of attention. How are the two 
classes of faculties combined ? If that winged mite had nothing but 
the instincts that urge it, those alone would make it interesting ; how 
is that interest increased, when in that tiny body instinct is paired 
with reflection that analyzes sensations, and will that determines move- 
ments ! what a study might we find in these intellectual faculties 
used by so perfect an instinct ! Does it not become indispensable to 
measure these faculties exactly in the case in which instinct is most 
developed ? Suppose we were to find, contrary to Cuvier's opinion, 
that instinct, far from being inversely proportioned to the degree of 
intelligence, is just the reverse, and is greater, according as intelli- 
gence is more active. 

This really is the truth, and it is important to fix this first point 
clearly in the study of instinct. Human inferiority in point of instinct 
is perhaps only apparent, since education hardly allows us to guess 
what we should be without it. We know from the history of more 
than one child found wild in the woods, especially from that of the 
idiot boy so well studied by Itard, what amazing instincts may be dis- 
played by a human creature, even one absolutely without understand- 
ing, when abandoned to itself. Among all animals, insects are assuredly 


those in which instinct is most developed; we except neither birds with 
their nests, nor beavers with their dams. Among insects, those in 
which the highest expression of instinct is noted are bees, that build 
cells like the work of profound geometry ; and particularly ants, acting 
with instincts yet higher, which seem to approach those perhaps 
smothered by education in man. A Genevese, Peter Huber, -made 
these known to lis. His book (1810) crowns a period of remarkable 
studies upon insects. Before his time, as far back as 1705, a woman, 
Mile. Sybille de Merian, crossed the ocean and made a voyage to 
Surinam, to paint the caterpillars of the tropics ; then after her come 
Reaumur, Da Geer, Bonnet, who watches night and day his flea, the 
daughter of five virgin generations, and, when it dies, writes to all 
Europe to disclaim any responsibility for the event. The pursuit 
grows a passion. Lyonnet passes his life in describing, drawing, and 
engraving the anatomy of the willow-caterpillar. Enthusiasm works 
miracles ; Francis Huber, the father of the man of ants, although blind, 
performs the marvel of making wonderful discoveries as to things tak- 
ing place in the inner darkness of beehives. Peter Huber, the son, is 
lost and absorbed in those societies of the ants to which he devotes 
his studies. While all Europe is agitated by coalitions, nothing from 
without reaches him. 

Peter Huber observes and experiments with rare sagacity. No 
fact escapes him ; he may remark upon it or explain it ill, but he notes 
it most accurately. His observations have not been contradicted ; his 
experiments still remain patterns of care and patience. He peopled 
with ants, his garden, the terrace of his house, his study, his tables, 
which were turned into a kind of hives, and, lest this new dwelling 
might be unsatisfactory to the ants, and in order that they might keep 
at work in it, he made rain and fair weather for them ; his rain-making 
consisting in rubbing his hand for hours at a time over a wet brush. 
In brief, he supplied them so richly with tempting dainties and weath- 
er-contrivances, that at last they wanted nothing better than their 
chance home, a bureau-drawer. Did he not even one day cherish the 
fantastic notion of bringing up the larvas of his ants by feeding . by 
hand ? We cannot resist loving him for his attachment to these little, 
thinking beings. He meditated long over one decisive experiment 
nothing less than the question of setting two colonies of ants at war 
on the floor of his study. He hesitated and lingered to awake the 
casus belli which should be the signal of slaughter ; he devised pre- 
texts to adjourn the dreadful scene. " I thought over this experiment 
for a long time," he says, " and I constantly postponed it, because I 
had grown to be very fond of my captives." This recalls one of 
Reaumur's sayings. He observes with what celerity humble-bees re- 
build their nest of moss after it has been opened to examine the in- 
side, an intrusion which these insects allow much more patiently than 
honey-bees do, and he adds : " If the moss from above is thrown down 


pretty near to the foot of the nest, as one would naturally do without 
even thinking that it ought to be done to save the insects some trouble, 
they very soon busy themselves with putting it back in its place." To 
save the insects some trouble ! What a love for Nature the eighteenth 
century had, and how differently things are done nowadays ! Our 
entomologists study their ant-hills spade in hand; a stroke of the pick 
into the mysteries of that underground dwelling costs their feverish 
passion for inquiry nothing, and yet what a spectacle rewards such 
barbarity ! If the spade uncovers a house of tawny ants ( Formica 
fused), we see under the arched top a labyrinth of low rooms, of gal- 
leries and passages, which penetrates the ground and leads to spacious 
chambers full of nymphae in their cocoons, or of larvae almost as mo- 
tionless. That ant, larger than the others, which is busily coming and 
going, is a female; for the common ants, the workmen, have no sex; 
naturalists call them neuters. The female lays eggs, and some work- 
ers, surrounding her, take these, one by one, and pile them in little 
heaps. The worms, when hatched, would perish without the workers, 
being able only to lift their heads to show their want of food ; a work- 
er comes up and lets them take from between its mandibles such nour- 
ishing juices as it has brought from its quest in the fields. When the 
hour comes for carrying all these papooses into the sun, they carry 
them up and spread them out on the arched top. If the heat is too 
strong, or if it rains, they bring them back again at once into rooms 
of suitable temperature. When the time of their transformation comes, 
the larva has spun itself a cocoon, but is quite unable to get out of it 
alone. It is the duty of the workers again to extract it ; they cut the 
silk, tear the shell, release the weak, new-grown creature, and then the 
old empty cocoons are stored away in a remote chamber. Thus are 
produced males, females, and neuters. The males and females fly off; 
some females will come back to lay eggs in the ant-hill ; the neuters 
do not leave it. As soon as they have gained a little strength, they 
set about all those labors that instinct teaches them the repair and 
keeping in order of the ant-hill, inside and without, carrying of useful 
materials, pursuing plant-lice, and gathering stores of all kinds. As- 
suredly, these instincts alone are very wonderful ; but there remains 
still another to be spoken of, peculiarly conferred on certain species, 
and which is indisputably the highest of all those we know among 

Peter Huber discovered it on the afternoon of the 17th of June, 
1804. The date is a memorable one for biology. He was walking in 
the environs of Geneva, between four and five o'clock in the evening, 
when he saw a regiment of great red ants crossing the road. They 
marched in good order, with a front of three or four inches, and in a 
column eight or ten feet long. Huber followed them, crossed a hedge 
with them, and found himself in a meadow. The high grass plainly 
hindered the march of the army, yet it did not disband; it had its ob- 



ject, and reached it. This was the nest of another e pedes of ants, 
blackish-gray ones, whose hill rose in the grass twenty steps from the 
hedge. A few blacldsh-gray ones were scattered about the hill ; as 
soon as these perceived the enemy, they darted upon the stranger?, 
while others hurry into the galleries to give the alarm. The besieged 
ants come out in a body. The assailants dash upon them, and, after a 
very short but very spirited sti - uggle, drive the black-gray ones back 
to the bottom of their holes. One army corps presses after them into the 
galleries, while other groups labor to make themselves an opening with 
their teeth into the lateral parts of the hill. They succeed, and the 
remainder of the troop makes its way into the besieged city by the 
breach. Peter Huber had seen battles and exterminations of ants be- 
fore this ; he supposed they were slaughtering each other in the depths 
of the caverns. What was his amazement, after three or four minutes, 
when he saw the assailants issue hurriedly forth again, each holding 
between its mandibles a larva or a nympha of the conquered tribe ! 
The aggressors took exactly the same road again by which they had 
come, passed through the hedge, crossed the road, at the same place, 
and made their way, still loaded with their prey, toward a field of ripe 
grain, into which the honest citizen of Geneva, respecting another's 
property, refrained, with regret, from following them. 

This expedition, worthy of the annals of barbarian piracy, inspired 
Huber with an amazement easy to understand. He examined, and 
discovered, to his great surprise, that some ant-hills were inhabited in 
common by two kinds of ants, forming two castes. He designates 
one of these by the name of " amazon or legionary ants; a name 
strongly suggesting their martial character," he says. The others he 
calls, very justly, " auxiliaries." The amazons do not work ; their duty 
is fighting and carrying off" the nymphce and larvse. They choose the . 
hour toward sunset for their warlike raids against the industrious and 
peaceable tribes of the neighborhood. Whenever the weather is fine,, 
they sally out thus, and levy their .tribute of flesh. The auxiliaries,, 
for their part, are employed in all internal duties, and in keeping up 
and repairing the dwelling. They alone open and close the entrance* 
to the ant-hill, night and morning ; they alone (in the species observed 
by P. Huber) go after provisions, for they feed the whole establish- 
ment, even the legionaries, which are idle except when on their forays ; 
they rear with equal care the larvse of the legionaries and those that 
are stolen ; they alone, in fine, seem to decide upon the material inter- 
ests of the community, the requisite enlargements, the need of emigra- 
tion, and the place suitable for it. Peter Huber made one experiment 
that shows very plainly the absolute dependence of the amazons upon 
their associates. These fierce warriors do not understand any house- 
hold work. Huber put thirty amazons into a glazed drawer, covered, 
with earth on the bottom, with a certain number of larvse and of 
nympha?, both of their own kind and of the auxiliary species.. A little- 
vol. in. 2 


honey in a corner was provided for the support of the colony. At first, 
the amazons seemed to pay some attention to the larvae, carrying them 
about here and there, but they soon left them. They did not know 
how to provide themselves with food. At the end of two days some 
had already died of hunger close alongside the honey-drops, all were 
languishing, and they had not even built a chamber. " I was sorry for 
them," says Huber. He put an auxiliary into the drawer. This soli- 
tary one restored order, made a house in the earth, gathered the larvae 
into it, released several nymphae of both kinds that were ready to leave 
the cocoon, and at last saved the lives of those among the amazons that 
still had breath. , 

Peter Huber refrains from any comments in describing all these 
wonders ; he leaves each one, as he says, at liberty to draw any con- 
clusions he pleases. This one conclusion is inevitable : We do, then, 
find among animals artificial societies, communities of beings strangers 
in race, yet living together, contributing, toward one common end, their 
different qualities and their individual efforts. The hive is always one 
family only. A mixed ant-hill is inhabited by individuals belonging 
to species at least as different as the horse, the ass, the zebra so dif- 
ferent sometimes that zoologists have classed them in distinct genera 
( Polyergus formica). Like provinces subject to the same form of 
government, every ant-hill has, nevertheless, its local history, explained 
by external circumstances, by conditions of neighborhood and boundary. 
Each one has only the principle of its organization in common with 
the rest. The same legionaries have sometimes one species of auxilia- 
ries and sometimes another, the black-grey or the mason ant, which- 
ever is within their reach, sometimes both together; or there may be 
two kinds of legionaries, the " polyergus " and the dark-red, living in 
the same hill, with one or two species of auxiliaries. Some naturalists, 
Darwin among others, call these frankly " slave-holders," and the others 
" slaves." These names are unfair. We must guard against any mis- 
take as to the very peculiar nature of the relations existing between 
the two castes.' Each fills a special part in the community, and nei- 
ther exercises control or despotism in it. If the association, at the 
outset, rests on violence and abduction, nothing has ever given rise to 
a suspicion that there is any thing else in a mixed ant-hill than a collec- 
tion of individuals kept together by special instincts. These names 
of " slavery " and " republic," applied to such a form of life, are quite 
void of meaning. Any allusion to politics, to systems, or doctrines of 
equality, is wholly out of place here ; biology alone has the right of 
giving a name to a social state which is its peculiar subject of study ; 
this territory belongs to it alone. 

We have selected these instances because they furnish the most 
striking proof both of the perfection that instinct may reach, and 
of the degree of intelligence of which animals are capable which are 
placed by their nature at an immeasurable distance from man. Peter 


Huber did not clearly draw the distinction, nor could he do so in his 
time, between that which is instinct and that which is the share of in- 
telligence in those acts which he witnessed. It is clear that these two 
orders of faculties are constantly combined. It is by reason of their 
perfection in instinct that intelligence appears so clearly in these little 
beings. The construction of the ant-hill is an act of instinct : the 
choice and distribution of its materials partake of intelligence. A 
thousand traits reveal the thought which perceives, deliberates, wills, 
executes. We may cite the observed fact of a crowd of ants dragging 
with great effort a beetle's wing toward their hole. The opening is 
too small, the wing will not go in. The workers drop it a moment, 
tear down a piece of the wall, and renew their attempt. Some push 
it from outside, others drag it from within. Fruitless effort ! The su- 
perb spoil, which will make an entire ceiling, will not pass yet ; they 
drop it once more ; the breach is widened, and the wing at last is 
swallowed up in the cavern, where perhaps ten partitions must be torn 
down to carry it to the proper place. The wing once got in, they re- 
build the wall, and restore its former dimensions to the entrance. We 
cannot cite, in the case of monkeys watched in captivity in menageries, 
a single instance so clearly showing deliberation and common judg- 

The social phenomena presented by the higher animals are unfor- 
tunately very little known. We know scarcely any thing of what goes 
on in a habitation of beavers ; we know nothing of the habits of the 
republican sparrow, which builds a city for its nest ; the insect com- 
munities are the most perfect ones that have been studied hitherto. So 
soon as a society exists, there are understanding and concurrence of all 
at every moment to reach a definite object. No zoologist now doubts 
that insects of the same species may communicate with each other, 
under certain circumstances, by a language of which the methods elude 
us. Blanchard says of the ant : " It has its ideas, and communicates 
them ; " but a singular detail of the history of the sacred scarabee 
shows this still more clearly. The female, as we know, wraps up her 
newly-laid egg in a ball of manure, the nourishment for the coming 
grub. The point now is to transport the ball into a suitable place, 
where it may be buried. The insect rolls along, with its hind-claws, 
or, if necessary, hoists with its head, this little world, in which the 
Egyptians found an emblem for their myths. Sometimes the journey 
is pretty long ; the ball, lifted to the ridge of a mole-hill, rolls down 
the other side, and so much is gained. But, if a rut or a crevice is 
encountered, the precious globe drops to the bottom, and would be 
hopelessly lost if the scarabee had only its own strength to depend on 
for mounting that steep wall. It struggles in vain, and begins again 
twenty times over ; at last it seems to desert its load, and flies off. 
Wait and watch ; after a little while you will see the insect coming 
back, but not alone now. It is followed by two, three, four, five com- 


panions, which all drop down into the place pointed out, combine their 
efforts, drag out the ball, and set it on its path again. What did the 
scarabee say to its comrades ? how did it make itself understood ? 
how did it bring them back with it ? It is not possible to make any- 
positive answer to these questions ; what is beyond dispute is, that 
there was in this case a concert of intelligences knowing how to under- 
stand each other and to come together. Nothing more is needed for 
the assertion that the insect judges, wills, and perhaps speaks, a lan- 
guage of which we know as yet neither the signs nor the organs. 

Cuvier, then, was in error when he announced that instinct in ani- 
mals is in an inverse ratio to their intelligence. The contrary seems 
rather to be true, and it is at least probable that in those intelligences 
of insects which feel, will, understand, deliberate, there are, on a finer 
scale, differences similar to those we remark in the higher animals. 
The faculty is common to all, but with shades as marked among the 
wild beasts of menageries as among our domestic animals. One is 
cross, and another jealous ; this one is good-tempered, that other quar- 
relsome, faithful to the house, or a vagabond in the streets all are 
more or less intelligent. In the lower animals these differences have 
not been as closely observed ; in the first place, they are probably less 
distinctly marked, and in any case they are much more difficult to ob- 
serve for reasons of all kinds. The small size of the being, its life 
wholly alien to our own, the predominance of instinct, are all so many 
impediments; but, on the other hand, the acts we see them perform 
under our very eyes, the admitted existence of faculties that 
compared with our own, and those of a relatively high order, allow 
of very little doubt that not only do insects possess a remarkably-de- 
veloped intelligence, but that this intelligence presents, in consequence 
of its very development, individual variations, just as in the higher 

This is already a great advance upon Descartes, whose strange 
theory no one at this day, that we are aware of, undertakes to defend ; 
but this is not all a new step has been taken in these later times. We 
are beginning, with our better knowledge, to ask whether those intellec- 
tual and instinctive faculties, arranged by Cuvier in two parallel series, 
may not have some common bond, so that one would flow from the other, 
and instinct, after all, be definitely a product of intelligence. The ques- 
tion has its importance. Instinct would then no longer be one of 
those essential properties of living beings which absolutely elude our 
comprehension, such as thought in the brain, contraction in the mus- 
cles, the electricity of the eel, or the gleam of the glow-worm ; it 
would be accessible, like all dependent phenomena, to our processes of 
experiment and investigation. 

Darwin is entitled to the credit of having taken the question into 
this entirely new region. This bold attempt to found the scientific 
study of instinct is found rather indefinitely in the " Origin of Spe- 


cies." Darwin does not enter on the problem with deliberate purpose 
as a physiologist. He continues to be what he is in the whole work, 
the zoologist, exclusively occupied with his great theory : he foresees 
and meets objections ; he has particularly anticipated those that might 
be brought against him in the name of instinct ; and he gives, in a 
few pages, a more complete study of instinct than any philosopher had 
made before him, and the first study ever made by aid of experi- 
ment. He ignores instinct as an essential property, and treats it as a 
function that is, he explains it. Instinct, as he holds, is nothing but 
a result from the intellectual faculties, properly so called, modified 
in a particular way under the twofold power of habit and inherited 

Inherited tendency, like intelligence, is one of those properties pe- 
culiar to living beings of which we can prove the existence, while its 
principle completely and absolutely baffles investigation. When we 
attempt to pierce the mystery by which the plant that springs from 
the seed, the bird that grows from the yelk, will be more like the plant 
or the bird it proceeds from than like any other, we confront the im- 
penetrable unknown. Hereditary tendency does not merely carry 
down from one generation to another all the imaginable modifications 
of form, size, coloring; it extends to the cerebral faculties, transmitted 
doubtless by the help of some physical peculiarity of the organ of in- 
telligence. This is what is called the spirit of race, which decides that 
one people shall be born brave and crafty, like the Greeks of Homer; 
industrious, like the Chinese ; traders, like the Jews ; or hunters, like 
the red-skin. This is, if we choose to term it so, a kind of instinct 
that education sometimes allows us to control, but never eradicates. 
As the wolf, fattened in the kennel, ends by going back to his wretched 
life of the woods, the child of a savage reared in the midst of civiliza- 
tion preserves in his mind, as upon his features, the deep, hereditary 
stamp of his origin. Habit, almost as much as hereditary tendency, 
is another mysterious faculty which we recognize without being able 
to explain it. Some act, most difficult in appearance, which required 
on the part of our brain a considerable effort of will and all our mental 
activity, at last surprises us by almost performing itself. We might 
say that attention and reflection have gone down into our limbs, which 
perform the most delicate tasks, and protect themselves against attacks 
from without, while the mind, occupied with something else, is pur- 
suing a different object. Revue des Deux Mbndes. 





"ATTOTWITHSTANDING the objections which are still made to the 
-L^l theory of Natural Selection, on the ground that it is either a 
pure hypothesis not founded on any demonstrable facts, or a mere truism 
which can lead to no useful results, we find it year by year sinking 
deeper into the minds of thinking men, and applied, more and more 
* frequently, to elucidate problems of the highest importance. In the 
works now before us we have this application made by two eminent 
writers, one a politician, the other a naturalist, as a means of working 
out so much of the complex problem of human progress as more espe- 
cially interests them. 

Mr. Bagehot takes for granted that early progress of man which 
resulted in his separation into strongly-marked races, in his acquisition 
of language, and of the rudiments of those moral and intellectual 
faculties which all men possess ; and his object is to work out the steps 
by which he advanced to the condition in which the dawn of history 
finds him aggregated into distinct societies known as tribes or na- 
tions, subject to various forms of government, influenced by various 
beliefs and prejudices, and the slave of habits and customs which often 
seem to us not only absurd and useless, but even positively injurious. 
Now, every one of these beliefs or customs, or these aggregations of 
men into groups having some common characteristics, must have been 
useful at the time they originated ; and a great feature of Mr. Bage- 
hot's little book is his showing how even the most unpromising of 
these, as we now regard them, might have been a positive step in ad- 
vance when they first appeared. His main idea is, that what was 
wanted in those early times was some means of combining men in so- 
cieties, whether by the action of some common belief or common 
danger, or by the power of some ruler or tyrant. The mere fact of 
obedience to a ruler was at first much more important than what was 
done by means of the obedience. So, any superstition or any custom, 
even if it originated in the grossest delusion, and produced positively 
bad results, might yet, by forming a bond of union more perfect than 
any other then existing, give the primitive tribe subject to it such a 
relative advantage over the disconnected families around them as to 
lead to their increase and permanent survival in the struggle for ex- 

1 " Physics and Politics ; or, Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of ' Nat- 
ural Selection ' and ' Inheritance ' to Political Society." By Walter Bagehot. (King & 
Co., 1872.) 

" Histoire des Sciences et dea Savants depuis deux Siecles, suivie d'autres Etudes sur 
1.2S Sujets Scientifiques, en particulier sur la Selection dans l'Espece Humaine." Par Al- 
phonse de Candolle. (Geneve : H. Georg, 1873.) 


istence. In those early days war was perhaps the most powerful 
means of forcing men to combined action, and might therefore have 
been necessary for the ultimate development of civilization. Freedom 
of opinion was then a positive evil, for it would lead to independent 
action, the very thing it was most essential to get rid of. In early 
times isolation was an advantage, in order that these incipient societies 
might not be broken up by intermixture, and it was only after a large 
number of such little groups, each with its own idiosyncrasies, habits, 
and beliefs, had been formed, that it became advantageous for them to 
meet to intermingle or to struggle together, and the stronger to drive 
out or exterminate the weaker. Out of the great number of petty 
tribes thus formed, only a few had the qualities which led to a further 
advancement. The rest were either exterminated or driven out into 
remote and inaccessible or inhospitable districts, and some of those 
are the " savages " which still exist on the earth, serving as a measure 
of the vast progress of the human race. Yet even these never show 
us the condition of the primitive man ; they are men who advanced up 
to a certain point and then became stationary : 

"Their progress was arrested at various points; but nowhere, not even in 
the hill-tribes of India, not even in the Andaman Islands, not even in the sav- 
ages of Terra del Fnego, do we find men who have not got some way. They 
have made their little progress in a hundred different ways; they have framed 
with infinite assiduity a hundred curious habits ; they have, so to say, screwed 
themselves into the uncomfortable corners of a complex life, which is odd and 
dreary, but yet is possible. And the corners are never the same in any two 
parts of the world. Our record begins with a thousand unchanging edifices, 
but it shows traces of previous building. In historic times there has been but 
little progress, in prehistoric times there must have been much." 

Again our author shows how valuable must have been the institu- 
tion of caste in a certain stage of progress. It established the divis- 
ion of labor, led to great perfection in many arts, and rendered gov- 
ernment easy. Caste nations would at first have a great advantage 
over non-caste nations, would conquer them, and increase at their ex- 
pense. But a caste nation at last becomes stationary ; for a habit of 
action and a type of mind which it can with difficulty get rid of are 
established in each caste. When this is the case, non-caste nations 
soon catch them up, and rapidly leave them far behind. 

This outline will give some idea of the way in which Mr. Bagehot dis- 
cusses an immense variety of topics connected with the progress of so- 
cieties and nations, and the development of their distinctive peculiarities. 
The book is somewhat discursive and sketchy, and it contains many 
statements and ideas of doubtful accuracv, but it shows an abundance 
of ingenious and original thought. Many will demur to the view that 
mere accident and imitation have been the origin of marked national 
peculiarities; such as those which distinguish the German, Irish, 
French, English, and Yankees : " The accident of some predominant 


person possessing certain peculiarities set the fashion, and it has been 
imitated to this day." And again : " Great models for good or evil 
sometimes appear among men who follow, them either to improvement 
or degradation." This is said to he one of the chief agents in " na- 
tion-making," hut a much better one seems to be the affinity of like 
for like, which brings and keeps together those of like morals, or reli- 
gion, or social habits ; but both are probably far inferior to the long- 
continued action of external Nature on the organism, not merely as it 
acts in the country now inhabited by the particular nation, but by its 
action during remote ages and throughout all the migrations and in- 
termixtures that our ancestors have ever undergone. We also find 
many broad statements as to the low state of morality and of intel- 
lect in all prehistoric men, which facts hardly warrant, but this is too 
wide a question to be entered upon here. In the concluding chapter, 
" The Age of Discussion," there are some excellent remarks on the 
restlessness and desire for immediate action which civilized men in- 
herit from their savage ancestors, and how much it has hindered true 
progress; and the following passage, with which we will conclude the 
notice of Mr. Bagehot's book, might do much good if, by means of 
any skilful surgical operation, it could be firmly fixed in the minds of 
our legislators and of the public : 

"If it had not been for quiet people, who sat still and studied the sections 
of the cone ; if other people had not sat still and worked out the doctrine of 
chances, the most ' dreamy moonshine,' as the purely practical mind would con- 
sider, of all human pursuits; if 'idle star-gazers' had not watched long and 
carefully the motions of the heavenly bodies our modern astronomy would 
have been impossible ; and, without astronomy, ' our ships, our colonies, our 
seamen,' all that makes modern life, could not. have existed. Ages of quiet, 
sedentary, thinking people were required before that noisy existence began, and 
without those pale, preliminary students it never could have been brought into 
being. And nine-tenths of modern science is, in this respect, the same ; it is 
the produce of men whom their contemporaries thought dreamers who were 
laughed at for caring for what did not concern them who, as the proverb went, 
' walked into a well from looking at the stars ' who were believed to be use- 
less, if any one could be such. And the conclusion is plain that, if there had 
been more such people ; if the world had not laughed at those there were ; if, 
rather, it had encouraged them there would have been a great accumulation 
of proved science ages before there was. It was the irritable activity, ' the wish 
to be doing something,' that prevented it. Most men inherited a nature too 
eager and too restless to find out things; and, even worse with their idle 
clamor they 'disturbed the brooding hen, 1 they would not let those be quiet 
who wished to be so, and out of whose calm thought much good might have 
come forth. If we consider how much good science has done, and how much 
it is doing for mankind, and, if the over-activity of men is proved to be the 
cause why science came so late into the world, and is so small and scanty still, 
that will convince most people that our over-activity is a very great evil." 

In the second work, of which we have given the title, the veteran 
botanist, Alphonse de Candolle, sets forth his ideas on many subjects 


not immediately connected with the science in which he is so great an 
authority. The most important, though not the longest, essay in the 
volume is that on " Selection in the Human Race," in which he arrives 
at some results which differ considerably from those of previous 
writers. In a section on " Selection in Human Societies or Nations," 
we find a somewhat novel generalization as to the progress and decay 
of nations. Beginning with small, independent states, we see a 
gradual fusion of these into larger and larger nations, sometimes vol- 
untary, sometimes by conquest, but the fusion always goes on, and 
tends to become more and more complete, till we have enormous ag- 
gregations of people under one government, in which local institutions 
gradually disappear, and result in an almost complete political and 
social uniformity. Then commences decay ; for the individual is so 
small a unit, and so powerless to influence the government, that the 
mass of men resign themselves to passive obedience. There is then no 
longer any force to resist internal or external enemies, and by means 
of one or the other the " vast fabric " is dismembered, or falls in ruins. 
The Roman Empire and the Spanish possessions in America are ex- 
amples of this process in the past ; the Russian Empire and our Indian 
possessions will inevitably follow the same order of events in a not 
very distant future. 

% Although M. de Candolle is a firm believer in Natural Selection, he 
takes great pains to show how very irregular and uncertain it is in its 
effects. The constant struggles and wars among savages, for example, 
might be supposed to lead to so rigid a selection that all would be 
nearly equally strong and powerful ; and the fact that some savages 
are so weak and incapable as they are shows, he thinks, that the action 
of natural selection has been checked by various incidental causes. 
He omits to notice, however, that the struggle between man and the 
lower animals was at first the severest, and probably had a consider- 
able influence in determining race-characters. It may be something 
more than accidental coincidence that the most powerful of all savages 
the negroes inhabit a country where dangerous wild beasts most 
abound ; while the weakest of all the Australians do not come into 
contact with a single wild animal of which they need be afraid. 

Selection among barbarous nations will often favor cunning, lying, 
and baseness ; vice will gain the advantage, and nothing good will be 
selected but physical beauty. Civilization is defined by the prepon- 
derance of three facts the restriction of the use of force to legitimate 
defence and the repression of illegitimate violence, speciality of pro- 
fessions and of functions, and individual liberty of opinion and action 
under the general restriction of not injuring others. By the applica- 
tion of the above tests we can determine the comparative civilization 
of nations ; but too much civilization is often a great danger, for it 
inevitably leads to such a softening of manners, such a hatred of 
bloodshed, cruelty, and injustice, as to expose a nation to conquest by 


its more warlike and less scrupulous neighbors. Progress in civiliza- 
tion must necessarily be very slow, and to be permanent must pervade 
all classes and all the surrounding nations ; and it is because past civ- 
ilizations have been too partial that there have been so many relapses 
into comparative barbarism. All this is carefully worked out, and is 
well worthy of attention. 

In the last section, on the probable future of the human race, we 
have some remarkable speculations, very different from the somewhat 
Utopian views held by most evolutionists, but founded, nevertheless, on 
certain very practical considerations. In the next few hundred or a 
thousand years the chief alterations will be the extinction of all the 
less dominant races, and the partition of the world among the three 
great persistent types, the whites, blacks, and Chinese, each of which 
will have occupied those portions of the globe for which they are best 
adapted. But, taking a more extended glance into the future of 50,000 
or 100,000 years hence, and supposing that no cosmical changes occur 
to destroy, wholly or partially, the human race, there are certain well- 
ascertained facts on which to found a notion of what must by that time 
have occurred. In the first place, all the coal and all the metals avail- 
able will then have been exhausted, and, even if men succeed in find- 
ing other sources of heat, and are able to extract the metals thinly 
diffused through the soil, yet these products must become far dearer* 
and less available for general use than now. Railroads and steam- 
ships, and every thing that depends upon the possession of large quan- 
tities of cheap metals, will then be impossible, and sedentary agricul- 
tural populations in w r arm and fertile regions will be the best off. 
Population will have lingered longest around the greatest masses of 
coal and iron, but will finally become most densely aggregated within 
the tropics. But another and more serious change is going on, which 
will result in the gradual diminution and deterioration of the terres- 
trial surface. Assuming the undoubted fact that all our existing land 
is wearing away and being carried into the sea, but, by a strange over- 
sight, leaving out altogether the counteracting internal forces, which 
for countless ages past seem always to have raised ample tracts above 
the sea as fast as subaerial denudation has lowered them, it is argued 
that, even if all the land does not disappear and so man become finally 
extinct, yet the land will become less varied, and will consist chiefly 
of a few flat and parched-up plains, and volcanic or coralline islands. 
Population will by this time necessarily have much diminished, but it 
is thought that an intelligent and persevering race may even then 
prosper. "They will enjoy the happiness which results from a peace- 
able existence, for, without metals or combustibles, it will be difficult 
to form fleets to rule the seas, or great armies to ravage the land ; " 
and the conclusion is that " such ai-e the probabilities according to the 
actual course of things." Now, although we cannot admit this to be 
a probability on the grounds stated by M. de Candolle, it does seem a 


probability, at some more distant epoch, on other grounds. The great 
depths of the oceans extend over wide areas, whereas the great heights 
of the land are only narrow ridges and peaks ; hence it has been cal- 
culated that the mean height of the land is only 1,000, while the mean 
depth of the sea is about 15,000 feet. But the sea is 2| times as ex- 
tensive as the land, so that the bulk or mass of the land above the sea- 
level will be only about one thirty-seventh of the mass of the ocean. 
Now, does not this small proportion of bulk of land to water render it 
highly probable that the forces of elevation and depression should 
sometimes cause the total or almost total submersion of the land ? 
Of such an epoch no geological record could be left because there 
could be no strata formed, except from the debris of coral-islands, and 
such a period of destruction of the greater part of terrestrial life may 
have repeatedly occurred between the period when the several Primary 
or Secondary formations were deposited. At all events, with such a 
proportion of land and sea surface as now exists, with such a small 
bulk of land above the enormous bulk of water, and with no known 
cause why the dry land rather than the sea-bottom should be con- 
stantly elevated, we must admit it to be almost certain that great fluc- 
tuations of the area of the land must occur, and that, while those fluc- 
tuations could not very considerably increase the area of the land they 
might immensely diminish it. There is here, therefore, a cause for 
the possible depopulation of the earth likely to occur much sooner 
than any cosmical catastrophe. 

The largest and most elaborate essay in the volume is that on the 
" History of the Sciences and of Scientific Men for the last Two Cen- 
turies." In this the author endeavors to arrive at certain conclusions 
as to the progress of science under different conditions and in different 
countries, the influence of political institutions and of heredity, and 
various other phenomena, by a method which is novel and ingenious. 
He takes account only of the men honored as foreign associates or 
members by the three great European scientific bodies, the Royal So- 
ciety of London and the Paris and Berlin Academies. By this means 
he avoids all personal bias, and secures, on the whole, impartiality. 
The tables drawn out by this method are examined in every possible 
way, and the results worked out in the greatest detail. The main con- 
clusion arrived at is the determination of a series of eighteen causes 
favorable to the progress of science ; and it is shown that a large 
proportion of these are present in a considerable degree in coun- 
tries where science flourishes, while they are almost wholly absent 
in barbarous or semi-civilized countries where science does not 

Another interesting essay is that on the importance for science of a 
dominant language, and it contains some very curious facts as to the 
way in which the English language is spreading on the Continent. M. 
de Candolle believes that in less than two centuries English will be 


the dominant language, and will be almost exclusively used in scien- 
tific works. 

There are also short hut very interesting essays on methods of 
teaching drawing and developing the observing powers of children, on 
statistics and free-will, and on a few other subjects of less importance, 
all of which are treated in a thoughtful manner, and illustrate one of 
the views on which much stress is laid in this work, viz., that the 
mental faculties which render a man great in any science are not spe- 
cial, but would enable him to attain equal eminence in many other 
branches of science or in any professional or political career. Nature. 



THE ancient leprosy, the red plague, and the disease known in Eu- 
rope as the Black Death, have ceased to afflict mankind. They 
seem to belong to the evils of the past ; their banishment is due to 
human progress, to a better knowledge of hygiene, and a clearer under- 
standing of the causes that develop infection and produce contagious 
and epidemic diseases. It is an interesting question to ask, " Will not 
the small-pox and the cholera, whose effects science has already modi- 
fied, become extinct diseases ? " 

The disease known as the black death made its first appearance in 
Europe at Constantinople in 1347. It was brought there from Asia, 
probably from the northern coasts of the Black Sea. From Turkey it 
gradually 6pread over Europe, almost depopulating w r hole districts as 
it travelled north. Florence was terribly smitten. Boccaccio, in the 
preface to his "Decameron," has left us an account of the sweeping 
destruction of the Florentines by the scourge, which one w T ho reads can 
never forget. From Florence it travelled into Spain, swept over 
France, and crossed the Straits of Dover. 

It made its appearance in England late in the summer of 1348. 
From June to December of that year there was an almost incessant 
fall of rain. The ground was continually damp, and the streams were 
polluted by surface drainage. When the sun shone, it was through a 
misty sky, producing a vapory heat, particularly unhealthy and ener- 
vating. In August, a few cases of a disease supposed to be the black 
death we/e reported. In September the plague was surely among the 
people. In November it reached London, and from the capital it rap- 
idly spread into all parts of the kingdom. 

The symptoms of this terrible disease, which usually proved fatal, 
were inflammatory boils and swelling of the glands, similar to those 


that appear in the worst eruptive fevers, with black patches all over 
the skin, from which the disease received the name Black Death. The 
patient was next seized with violent vomitings of blood ; he sometimes 
died at once, and he seldom survived more than two days. It is stated 
that, toward the end of the pestilence, many lives were saved by punc- 
turing the boils. 

It was a fearful time. The population of England and Wales num- 
bered probably between three and four millions, and of these at least 
one-half, or more than a million persons, perished. Stowe says that 
the scourge " so wasted and spoyled the people that scarce the tenth 
person of all sorts was left alive." Another old writer says : " There 
died an innumerable sort, for no man but God only knew how many." 
In six months from January 1st there died in the city of Norwich more 
than 57,000 persons. In the graveyard of Spittle Croft, thirteen acres 
of land, which was used for the burial of the dead, because the London 
graveyards were " choke full," there were buried 50,000 persons. Par- 
liament was prorogued in January, on account of the plague having 
broken out in Westminster, and again in March, on account of the in- 
crease of the disease. On the 16th of June, 1350, an important public 
regulation was made, " because," as the law ran, " a great part of our 
people is dead of the plague." 

Not only the people but the cattle were infected. The disease was 
highly contagious. Death was in the air. " The pestilential breath 
of the sick who spat blood," says Hecker, " caused a terrible contagion 
far and near, for even the vicinity of those who had fallen of the plague 
was certain death, so that parents abandoned their infected children, 
and all the ties of kindred were dissolved ! " 

Half the population, or more than a million souls ! What a stretch 
of the imagination does it require to cover such an appalling calamity ! 
Cities were reduced to towns ; towns to hamlets. The work of the 
husbandman ceased. The dead were unburied, and lay in the fields 
rotting in the sun. People stayed in their own houses, often half 
clothed and half famished, waiting for the destroyer to come. 

In the year 1664 a similar visitation of the plague came upon Lon- 
don. The disease was perhaps not as swift and violent as had been 
the black death three hundred years before, but it was of the same 
general character. It broke out in Drury Lane in December. It had 
been raging for a considerable period in Holland, and the minds of the 
English people had been filled with apprehension for months. If De- 
foe's narrative is true, the people believed that they bad supernatural 
warnings of the impending catastrophe. The symptoms of this disor- 
der were similar to the black death, except that it was usually preceded 
by dimness of vision, and the discolored patches on the body were 
livid, instead of black. At the beginning of the following summer the 
disease fearfully increased. We may get an idea of the scene at the 
beginning of the calamity, from some little incidents recorded in the 


journal of Pepys. " June 7th," says this writer, " was the hottest that 
ever I felt in my life. This day, much against my will, did I see in 
Drury Lane two or three houses marked witli a red cross upon the 
doors, and ' Lord, have mercy upon us ! ' writ there a sad sight to 
me, being the first of the kind I ever saw." Again, on the 17th of the 
same month, he says: "It struck me very deep this afternoon, going 
with a hackney coach down Holborn, from the Lord Treasurer's, I 
found the coachman to drive easily and easily, and the coach stood 
still. He told me that he was suddenly struck very sick and almost 
blind. I took another coach, with a sad heart for the poor man, and 
fearing for myself also, lest he should have been struck with the 

As the calamity increased, shojjs were closed, dwellings were left 
empty, and the public thoroughfares were deserted. The markets 
were removed beyond the city-walls, coaches were seldom seen, except 
when people were fleeing from .the city ; a solemn stillness prevailed 
in many districts, and grass grew in the streets. People might 
be heard crying out of the windows for help, but the cry returned 
echoless. Some went mad ; some rushed into the river, and ended 
their tortures by suicide. On a single night in the month of Septem- 
ber 10,000 people died. 

Many incidents of this terrible visitation are preserved, the best 
known being from the pen of Defoe. Rev. Thomas Vincent describes 
some touching scenes, of w T hich he himself was a witness. " Among 
other spectacles," he says, " two, methought, were very affecting ; one 
of a woman coming alone and weeping by the door where I lived, 
with a little coffin under her arm, carrying it to the new church-yard. 
I did judge that it was the mother of the child, and that all the fam- 
ily besides were dead." 

An old writer thus describes an impressive scene in London during 
the reign of the plague : 

" O unrejoicing Sabbath ! not of yore 
Did thy sweet evenings die along the Thames 
Thus silently. Now, every sail is furled, 
The oar hath dropped from out the rower's hand, 
And on thou flowest in lifeless majesty, 
River of a desert lately filled with joy ! 
O'er all the mighty wilderness of stone 
The air is clear and cloudless, as the sea 
Above the gliding ship. All fires are dead, 
And not one single wreath of smoke ascends 
Above the stillness of the towers and spires. 
How idly hangs that arch magnificent 
Across the idle river! Not a speck 
Is seen to move along it. There it hangs 
Still as a rainbow in the pathless sky." 

John WiUon. 


These are old facts, and are generally well known to the readers of 
old histories. But it may not be as well known to our readers that 
the black death, or at least a most malignant form of the true plague, 
prevailed in North America during the first part of the seventeenth 
century, sweeping off the Indian tribes on the Atlantic coast, and es- 
pecially the tribes of New England. In the charter of New England, 
granted by James I., and bearing date of November 3, 1620, the king 
states " tbat he had been given certainly to know, that, within these 
late years, there hath, by God's visitation, reigned a wonderful plague, 
etc., to the depopulation of that whole territory, so that there is not 
left, for many leagues together in a manner, any that do claim or chal- 
lenge any kind of interest therein." 

"These late years" seem to have been 1617, 1618, and 1619. Its 
ravages from the Narragansett Bay to the Penobscot were of the most 
fearful character, constantly destroying one-fourth, and, according to 
some authorities, one-thirtieth of the natives. The old Indians gave a 
frightful account of it to the Pilgrims, saying that the victims had 
" died in heaps," and that the disease swept them off so rapidly that 
" the living were not able to bury the dead." 

It. is stated that, of the Indians inhabiting Patuxet, Squanto only 
remained. Norton, in his " New England Canaan " (Amsterdam, 
1637), says : "They died in heaps, as they lay in their houses, and the 
living that were able to shift for themselves would run away and let 
them dy, and let their carkases ly above the ground without burill. 
For, in the place where many inhabited, there hath been but one left 
alive to tell what became of the rest, the living being, it seems, not 
able to bury the dead. They were left for crowes, kites, and vermine, 
to pray upon. And the bones and skulls, upon the several places of 
their habitation, made such a spectacle after my coming into these 
parts that, as I travelled in that forest near the Massachusetts, it 
seemed to me a new-found Golgotha." We should add that Mr. Nor- 
ton came to this country in 1622. 

Sir Fernando Gorges, who sent a ship to the East Atlantic coast at 
this period, tells us that, according to the reports given to him, those 
of the savages who had escaped the wars had been sore afflicted with 
the plague: " Notwithstanding, Vines'''' (his navigator), "and the rest 
with him that lay in the cabins with those people who died, did not so 
much as feel their heads ache while they stayed there." 

It has been stated that the tribe of the Wampanoags was reduced 
from thirty thousand to a few hundred people, which will account for 
the small number of braves who appeared with Massasoit during his 
early visits to Plymouth. The Massachusetts, a tribe about as large 
as the Wampanoags, according to an early authority, were reduced in 
like proportion. 

Some have supposed that this disease was the yellow fever, because 
an old Indian had told one of the early historians that the bodies of 


the deceased turned the color of his blanket, which was yellow. But, 
in most allusions to it, we find it spoken of as the true plague, or the 
pestilence in its worst and most destructive form. 

The solitude of the forest at this time must have been most solemn 
and awe-inspiring. Of villages once populous, nothing remained but de- 
caying huts, tenanted by birds and beasts, who had left white and bare 
the human bones scattered around. The desolations of Athens, of 
Constantinople, of Florence, and of London, were all unequalled by 
the spectacle of depopulation that has been presented on our very 

The Indian plague becomes an interesting faet of medical science, 
since it has been supposed that our climate has prophylactic virtues 
which render the pestilence, that, after an interval of centuries, has 
again and again ravaged Europe, impossible. We have strong reason 
to hope that the progress of science has banished this swift minister 
of death from the civilized races, and that even the modified forms of 
the disease are gradually yielding and disappearing. Still it is by no 
means certain that it may not come travelling from the East again, 
and, if so, we are no more protected by territorial or climatic influ- 
ences than the inhabitants of the Old World. At least, so we might 
reasonably infer from this last fearful but interesting chapter of history. 




TO give readers some idea of the contents of a good book is very 
often the most useful thing a reviewer can do. Unfortunately, 
that course is not open to us in the present instance. The subject is 
too vast. We cannot exhibit the grandeur; we can only in a few gen- 
eral phrases express our admiration of the profound, all-embracing 
philosophy of which the work before us is an instalment. The doc- 
trine of evolution, when taken up by Mr. Spencer, was little more than 
a crochet. He has made it the idea of the age. In its presence other 
systems of philosophy are hushed ; they cease their strife, and become 
its servants, while all the sciences do it homage. The place that the 
doctrine of evolution has secured in the minds of those who think for 
the educated public may be indicated by a few names taken just as 
they occur. Mr. Darwin's works, the novels of George Eliot, Mr. 
Tylor's " Primitive Culture," Dr. Bastian's " Beginnings of Life," and 
Mr. Bagehot's " Physics and Politics," have hardly anything in com- 

1 " The Principles of Psychology." In two volumes. By Herbert Spencer. New York : 
D. Appleton & Co. 


mon but the idea of evolution, with which they are all more or less 
imbued. In a word, we have but one other thinker with whom, in 
point of influence on the higher thought of this, and probably of sev- 
eral succeeding generations, Mr. Spencer can be classed ; it does not 
need saying that that other is Mr. J. S. Mill. 

As we cannot present such an outline of Mr. Spencer's system of 
psychology as would make it generally intelligible, the purpose of di- 
recting attention to the work will perhaps be best served by selecting 
as the subject of remark one or two points to which the presence of 
the controversial element may lend a special interest. After pointing 
out that the cardinal fact brought to light, when nervous action is 
looked at entirely from the objective point of view, is, that the amount 
and heterogeneity of motion exhibited by the various living creatures 
are greater or less in proportion to the development of the nervous 
system, Mr. Spencer comes to the vexed question of the relation be- 
tween nervous phenomena and the phenomena of consciousness. This 
is a subject about which, in its more subtle aspects, there is much un- 
certainty and some confusion of thought. It may be taken as estab- 
lished, that every mode of consciousness is a concomitant of some 
nervous change. Given certain physical conditions, accompanied by 
a special state of consciousness, and there is every reason to believe 
that physical conditions in every respect identical will always be at- 
tended by a similar state of consciousness. This, and not more than 
this, we think, was intended by Mr. Spencer in his chapter on iEstho- 
physiology. Nevertheless, several able men have, it would appear, 
been led to suppose that he countenances a kind of materialism (not 
using the word to imply any thing objectionable ; for why not be ma- 
terialists, if materialism be truth?), which forms no part of his philos- 
ophy. To give precision and emphasis to what we say, we would take 
the liberty to refer to the position taken up by Dr. Bastian in his re- 
markably able and important work on the " Beginnings of Life." The 
expi-ession that definitely raises the issue of which we wish to speak, 
and which at the same time fixes Dr. Bastian to a view not in harmony 
with the teaching of Mr. Spencer, is the following : " We have not 
yet been able to show that there is evolved, during brain action, an 
amount of heat, or other mode of physical energy, less than there would 
have been had not the Sensations been felt and the Thouo-hts thought ; " 
but he believes that this is the case. Our present object is not so 
much to show that here speculation has got on the wrong track, as 
that, if we understand Mr. Spencer, it is not his opinion that any thing 
of this kind takes place ; though certainly some ambiguous phrases 
might be held to convey this meaning. We have mentioned the sig- 
nificant fact that the size of the nervous system holds a pretty constant 
relation to the amount and heterogeneity of motion generated. The 
implication is, that none of the motion evolved during nervous action 
disappears from the object world, passes into consciousness in the same 

VOL. III. 3 


sense that physicists speak of momentum passing into heat ; that 
whether consciousness arise or not, there will he for the molecular 
motion set up in the nerve-substance exactly the same mechanical 
equivalents. Whether, for example, those ganglia that in the hody 
of each one of us are employed in carrying on what we call reflex ac- 
tion, are so many distinct seats of consciousness, like so many separate 
animals, an idea for which much has been said, or whether the nerve- 
changes that go on in these ganglia have no subjective side ; in either 
case the objective facts will remain the same. If consciousness is 
evolved, it is not at the expense of a single oscillation of a molecule 
disappearing from the object-world. No doubt it is hard to conceive 
consciousness arising in this apparently self-created way; but, if any 
suppose that by using phrases that would assimilate mind to motion 
they ease the difficulty, they but delude themselves. It is as easy to 
think of consciousness arising out of nothing, if they will, as to con- 
ceive it as manufactured out of motion ; that is to say, the one and the 
other proposition are alike absolutely unthinkable. On this point Mr. 
Spencer writes: " Can we think of the subjective and objective activi- 
ties as the same ? Can the oscillations of a molecule be presented in 
consciousness side by side with a nervous shock, and the two be rec- 
ognized as one ? No effort enables us to assimilate them. That a 
unit of feeling: has nothing in common with a unit of motion, becomes 
more than ever manifest when we bring the two into juxtaposition." 
Mr. Spencer's idea is that feeling and nervous action are two faces of 
the same ontological something a view that prohibits the notion of 
the one passing into or being expended in producing the other. The 
conclusion is, that the transformations of physical energy remain un- 
affected by the presence or absence of consciousness. 

Psychology has as yet been made a serious study by only a few in- 
dividuals. Accordingly, it is only the more striking and easily grasped 
peculiarities of Mr. Spencer's system that can be referred to with ad- 
vantage. Of these, the most imposing, and the one of which the edu- 
cated public have already a slight second-hand acquaintance, is the 
doctrine that the brain and nervous system is an organized register of 
the experiences of past generations, that consequently the intelligence 
and character of individuals and of races depend much more on this, 
on the experiences of their ancestors, than on their individual expe- 
riences. The flood of light thrown by this conception on so many 
things previously dark and unfathomable, its power of bringing about 
harmony where before there was nothing but confusion and unsatis- 
factory wrangling, ought to have been sufficient to have secured it a 
universally favorable reception. This, however, has not been the case, 
and partly, perhaps, because of the very merits that recommend it. 
It may be that veterans who have won their laurels on, say, the battle- 
field of innate ideas, love the old controversy, and are not anxious 
to learn that both sides were right and both wrong. Moreover, it is 


the misfortune of this important addition to psychology, that it shows 
that previous workers in this field of inquiry have at times been labor- 
ing in the dark to solve problems like in kind with the famous diffi- 
culty of accounting for the supposed fact that the weight of a vessel 
of water is not increased by the addition of a live fish. For instance, 
should Mr. Spencer be right, the celebrated theory of the Will, elabo- 
rated by Prof. Baiu, the able representative of the individual-experience 
psychology, becomes a highly-ingenious account of what does not 
happen. Thus, the new doctrine can be accepted only at the expense 
of giving up much of what has hitherto passed for mental science. 

The following sentences will serve to indicate Mr. Spencer's posi- 
tion : " The ability to coordinate impressions, and to perform the ap- 
propriate actions, always implies the preexistence of certain nerves 
arranged in a certain way. What is the meaning of the human brain ? 
It is that the many establisJied relations among its parts stand for so 
many established relations among the psychical changes. Each of the 
constant connections among the fibres of the cerebral masses answers 
to some constant connection of phenomena in the experiences of the 
race. . . . Those who contend that knowledge results wholly from the 
experiences of the individual, ignoring as they do the mental evolu- 
tion which accompanies the autogenous development of the nervous 
system, fall into an error as great as if they were to ascribe all bodily 
growth and structure to exercise, forgetting the innate tendency to 
assume the adult form. . . . The doctrine that all the desires, all the 
sentiments, are generated by the experiences of the individual, is so 
glaringly at variance with facts, that I cannot but wonder how any 
one should ever have entertained it." The circumstances which ac- 
count for the existence of the individual-experience psychology, and 
which enable it still to hold out as a rival of the more advanced form 
that Mr. Spencer has given to the science, are these : (1) the imma- 
turity of the human infant at birth ; (2) the lack of precise knowledge 
with regard to the mental peculiarities of the lower animals ; (3) the 
still popular notion that the human mind does not resemble the mental 
constitution of the animals ; that it is of a different order. Of course 
this last is nowadays little more than a popular superstition, neverthe- 
less it can be taken advantage of: and an argument to the effect that 
the mental operations of the animals are, to all appearance, so very 
different from the workings of the human mind that they can supply 
nothing more than a worthless, if not a misleading analogy, has a 
very specious and scientific look about it in the eyes of those who are 
not very well acquainted with the subject. Our ignorance of animal 
psychology may be still more boldly drawn on in defence of the theory 
under consideration. With a hyper-scientific caution, its advocates 
refuse to take into account any thing (incompatible with their theory) 
cencerning any one species of animal that has not been proved by a 
very overwhelmingly large number of very accurate observations. And 


they find it possible to maintain that it still remains unproved that 
any species of animal possesses either knowledge or skill not wholly 
acquired by each individual. A better acquaintance with the mental 
peculiarities of the animals is certainly a desideratum, and we hope 
that this rich field of investigation will not long remain uncultivated. 
In Macmillarfs Magazine for February there is an account of a series 
of observations and experiments on young animals by the present 
writer, which, unless they can be discredited, may reasonably be ex- 
pected to go far to establish the fact of instinct, the fact of innate 
knowledge and unacquired skill ; in other words, the phenomena on 
which the experience-psychology, minus the doctrine of inheritance, 
can throw no light whatever. Now, had not Mr. Darwin banished 
from every scientific mind the hypothesis of the miraculous creation 
of each distinct species of animal just as we see it, with all its strange 
organs, and, to most people, still stranger instincts, the presumption 
against a system of human psychology that not only can give no ac- 
count of the most striking phenomena in the mental life of the animals, 
but which strongly inclines those who hold it to pronounce such phe- 
nomena incredible, might not have been so apparent. But, in the 
present state of our scientific knowledge, such a psychology, profess- 
ing to be a complete system, is self-condemned. In its fundamen- 
tal principles the science of mind must be the same for all living 
creatures. Further, if man be, as is now believed, but the highest, 
the last, the most complex product of evolution, a system professing 
to be an analysis and exposition of his mind, yet confessing itself in- 
competent to deal with the necessarily simpler mental processes of 
lower creatures, must surely feel itself in an uncomfortably anomalous 

It is, however, on the first-mentioned circumstance, the immaturity 
of the infant at birth, that most stress can be laid. The newly-born 
babe cannot raise its hand to its mouth, and doubtless for a long time 
after birth it has no consciousness of the axiom, " Things that are 
equal to the same thing are equal to one another." The helplessness 
of infancy is pointed to as furnishing ocular demonstration of the 
doctrine that, whatever may be the case with the animals, all human 
knowledge, all human ability to perform useful actions, must be wholly 
the result of associations formed in the life-history of each individual. 
But it can surely require little argument to show that this is an entirely 
unwarranted assumption. It might as well be maintained that, be- 
cause a child is born without teeth and without hair, the subsequent 
appearance of these must be referred wholly to the operation of ex- 
ternal forces. Of the several lines of argument that might here be 
employed, let us, for the sake of freshness, take the analogy from the 
lower animals. We are not aware that it can be asserted, as the result 
of prearranged and careful observations, that any creature at the in- 
stant of birth exhibits any of the higher instincts. A number of iso- 


lated and more or less accidental observations have been recorded ; 

and apparently on the strength of these Mr. Spencer has made the fol- 
lowing unqualified statement . " A chick, immediately it comes out of 
the egg, not only balances itself and runs about, but picks up frag- 
ments of food, thus showing us that it can adjust its muscular move- 
ments in a way appropriate for grasping an object in a position that is 
accurately perceived." The fact is, that, on emerging from the shell, 
the chick can no more do any thing of all this than can the new-born 
child run about and gather blackberries. But between the two there 
is this great difference, that, whereas the chick can pick about perfectly 
in lees than twenty-four hours, the child is not similarly master of its 
movements in as many months. Our present point is, that it can be 
shown by experiment that the performances of the chick a day old, 
which involve the perceptions of distance and direction by the eye and 
the ear, and of many other qualities of external things, are not in any 
degree the results of its individual experiences. Let it now be remem- 
bered that, in the absence of conclusive evidence to the contrary, it 
has been considered a safe position to hold that the early knowledge 
and intelligent action of the chicken " may be, after all, nothing more 
than very rapid acquisitions, the result of that experimentation, prompt- 
ed by the inborn or spontaneous activity." May we now, on the other 
side, similarly presume, until the contrary is shown, that the more 
tardy progress of the infant is not because its mental constitution has 
to be built up from the foundation out of the primitive elements of 
consciousness, which the chicken's has not, but rather because the 
child comes into the world in a state of greater physical, and therefore 
mental immaturity ? The progress of the infant, however, has been 
so continually spoken of as if it were a visible process of unaided ac- 
quisition, that it may give some surprise when it is asserted from the 
other side that we have no sufficiently accurate acquaintance with the 
alleged acquisitions of infancy to justify the doctrine that they are 
different in kind from the unfolding of the inherited instincts of the 
chicken. To give definiteness to the attitude taken up, we would say, 
for example, that the facts concerning the early movements of the two 
lambs and the calf observed by Prof. Bain, and which, looked at from 
his point of view, were strong confirmation of the doctrine of indi- 
vidual acquisition, may be just as readily interpreted as the unfolding 
of inherited powers ; which, as far as we know, start into perfect 
action at the moment of birth, in no single instance. From observa- 
tions on several newly-dropped calves, the facts corresponding sub- 
stantially with those recorded by Prof. Bain, the present writer could 
draw no conclusive evidence in favor of either the one theory or the 
other. One observation, however, may here be mentioned that seemed 
rather to favor the doctrine of inheritance. A calf one hour old, 
which had been staggering about on its legs for ten minutes, stepped 
out at the open door of the byre. It no sooner found itself in the 


open air than it began to frisk and dance ; it was left entirely to itself, 
and, when it had been on its legs fifteen minutes, it apparently in 
obedience to the feeling of fatigue deliberately lay down, folding in 
its limbs after the established manner of its kind. This is all we know 
about calves ; about children we know nothing at all. And it may 
fairly be asked how, when called in question, the assumption that un- 
derlies such statements as the following can be made good. We quote 
from Prof. Bain's account of the growth of voluntary power. He 
says : " The infant is unable to masticate ; a morsel put into its mouth 
at first usually tumbles out. But, if there occur spontaneous move- 
ments of the tongue, mouth, or jaw, giving birth to a strong relish, 
these movements are sustained, and begin to be associated with the 
sensations ; so that, after a time, there grows up a firm connection." 
Bearing in mind that, when born, the child has no occasion for the 
power of masticating solid food ; that the ability to suck, which in- 
volves an equally complex series of muscular adjustments, is what it 
requires, and this it has by instinct ; bearing all this in mind, the ques- 
tion is, Why may not the innate ability to masticate be developed by 
the time it is required quite as spontaneously as the teeth used in the 
operation ? Take a parallel. The feeble nestling when it leaves the 
shell is blind. One of the several very pronounced and interesting in- 
stincts it exhibits at this stage is, that in response to certain sounds it 
opens its mouth and struggles to hold up its head to be fed. Several 
weeks later it begins to pick for itself. Now, we put the question, Is 
this second mode of filling its stomach to be considered a pure acqui- 
sition, while its original plan must certainly be regarded as pure in- 
stinct ? No one, we think, will venture to answer in the affirmative ; 
the more so as this is a case that may any day be put to the test of 
experiment. Where, then, is the evidence that the analogous progress 
from drawing milk to masticating solid food is of a different kind ? 



THIS is by no means a new subject for investigation, but in the 
present day I am certain that it will be instructive to many 
among the thousands who are now interested in this class of property 
to have their attention briefly called to all that has been clone to make 
submarine cables a sound property. 

Eleven years ago there was a joint committee appointed by the 
" Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade and Atlantic 
Telegraphy, to inquire into the construction of submarine cables, to- 


gether with other evidence." Attention is called in the report to the 
" remarkable fact that in almost all cases small cables had been found 
liable to mishaps, while the heavier the cable had been the greater 
had been its durability." The report is full and complete, and estab- 
lishes principles which up to the present time have uniformly guar- 
anteed success, while the neglect of them has as uniformly resulted in 
partial loss or failure. 

The loss of cables was found to be attributable to the following- 
causes : First, and the most important of all, from imperfect manufac- 
ture, resulting without doubt, prior to this date, from inexperience of 
the materials for insulating the copper wire, and from ignorance of 
the fact discovered by Prof. Thomson about 1856, viz., that some kinds 
of copper wire were no better than iron for the purpose of conduc- 
tivity, and that it required carefully-selected copper to give the desired 
standard, which may be represented by a copper wire one-tenth of an 
inch in diameter, being equal to an iron wire one-third of an inch in 
diameter for electrical purposes. All cables manufactured previous to 
this date had no advantage from this discovery. 

There appear to have been mechanical difficulties in keeping the 
copper conductor in the centre of the insulating medium, so that the 
copper was sometimes found to be almost visible under the light film 
of gutta-percha which covered it. The electric current soon weakened 
this film, stronger currents were used to overcome the weakness of 
the signals, and the cable was soon destroyed. Experience about this 
time had established that a cable from the commencement of its manu- 
facture to the time of its being laid should be tested under water and 
under pressure, and kept as much as possible under all the conditions 
in which it was meant to contimie. 

Attempts to lay cables from sailing-ships towed by steamers was 
another source of failure. The ships had not enough steerage-way 
when met with strong head-winds, and too much slack was paid out. 
It was difficult under such circumstances to steer a straight course, 
and sailing-ships possessed no power of being readily stopped when a 
fault or accident occurred. 

Many accidents happened from inexperience in the method of pay- 
ing out cables ; at the present day the wonder is, that they should 
have succeeded so well with the rude methods and inexperience which 
then existed, and not that there should have been many failures and 
much recrimination. Reading the history of these first attempts to 
place a net-work of cables at the bottom of the ocean fifteen and twenty 
years ago, is a good deal like reading the old stories of the early voy- 
ages of discovery. There are difficulties and disasters peculiar to 
every attempt, and the grand result is that, one way or another, they 
were overcome, or else they suggested such modifications that their 
recurrence was avoided, and an accident to a well-manufactured cable 
no longer constitutes a loss. 



The first Atlantic cable failed principally on account of imperfect 
manufacture, in a great measure arising from undue haste and urgency, 
but largely owing to insufficient experience. * The cable was not tested 
under water, for fear of rusting the small steel wires of the external 
covering, and small wires have never since been used ; large wires, 
the larger the better, is now a principle. The copper was not all good. 
It had often been coiled and uncoiled, and had been exposed to the 
strong heat of the sun, and to many changes of temperature. Any of 
these conditions would nowadays be regarded as enough to condemn 
the most carefully-manufactured cable. 

The Red Sea and Indian cables are said to have been imperfectly 
manufactured and laid too taut, but they were not tested under water 
from the time of manufacture until they were placed at the bottom of 
the sea, and this one grand omission, largely due to inexperience, is 
enough, without the recriminatory points, to condemn to loss and 
failure any cable whatever. 

The cables laid from Cagliari to Malta and Malta to Corfu are said 
to have failed from imperfect manufacture. One experienced gentleman 
in his evidence said these cables were " such as nobody should have 
laid in deep water." It is sufficient at present to know that they have 
failed from neglect or inexperience, and that they, among other fail- 
ures, have established the principles which have since insured success. 

The want of constant supervision by engineers, exclusively in the 
interests of the purchasers of the cable, has been a great cause of de- 
fective cables. There may often be minute defects in the core itself, 
or a slightly defective splice which may reduce the electrical condition 
of a comparatively short length ; this may easily be raised above the 
average standard required by the contract, by the next length being 
more carefully manufactured. These minute defects must, however, 
kill the cable in more or less time, and the principle is established that 
every inch should be tested in course of manufacture, and rejected if 
there is any irregularity of condition to cause suspicion. There should 
be constant supervision, and a record of all the tests kept for the 
purchasers of the cable from the commencement of the contract to its 
final completion, and continued ever afterward by the purchasers. 

The principal sources of injury to cables are first, moving water, 
either currents or tides, chafing the cables upon rocks or shingle. Ex- 
perience has given many costly lessons of the effect of moving water. 

Ten years ago it was generally believed that water had very little 
motion below 50 fathoms, and 100 fathoms was considered a point of 
great safety. "We now know that there are exceptional localities where 
there is motion in the water at a depth of 500 fathoms. The Fal- 
mouth cable was chafed and destroyed at this depth from this cause. 
The Channel Islands cable was also destroyed from the same cause. 
The first cable ever manufactured with due regard to the principle of 
careful supervision, testing under water, and being retained quietly in 



that condition until it was laid, was the Malta and Alexandria cable, 
laid in 1861. This cable was submerged in too shallow water, for 
many miles in less depth than 20 fathoms ; the result was the frequent 
recurrence of fracture from being rolled about by the surf, and yet 
this cable was only finally abandoned last year ; not because it could 
not be kept in repair, but because it was too expensive to keep in 
order. These and many other examples have established the principle 
that no cable should be laid without first obtaining an accurate sur- 
vey of the approach to the coast and landing-places, with accurate 
soundings over the intended route, and as much knowledge as possible 
of the nature of the bottom. Currents and anchorage should be 
avoided, and, where that is impossible, the heaviest cable that can be 
laid should be provided. Heavy cables should be laid out to depths 
of 400 fathoms, where there are tide-ways. Where a current exists, a 
position should be sought for as far removed from it as possible. A 
great cause of injury to cables is the corrosion of the external wires, 
caused by moving water or marine vegetation, etc., and this has 
established the general practice of covering the external wires with 
tarred yarn saturated with a mixture of pitch and silica. There is 
still great room for improvement upon the present method of protect- 
ing- the external covering; of cables, and I commend it to the further 
careful study of telegraph-engineers as a subject of vital importance. 

Another enemy of submarine cables is the teredo * of all kinds ; there 
is one kind which has proved destructive by boring through the core, 
but that has only occurred in shallow water ; there is another kind 
which destroys the hemp in a few months, and is then satisfied to fix 
itself upon the gutta-percha and remain there. Cables have been re- 
covered from depths of 1,200 fathoms with all the hemp eaten away, 
and the core pitted with these marine animals. The recovery is then 
only possible by the strength of the external wires. 

All the expei-ience we. have points to the value of protection, first, 
of the core, then of the external covering, and, if those responsible for 
the safety and maintenance of submarine cables could be allowed to 
dictate the most desirable conditions of safety, they would select, be- 
sides the strongest possible cable to be manufactured, and laid with 
extreme care, a depth of water of about 500 fathoms, and a bottom of 
sand or mud ; but, as this cannot always be secured, nothing should be 
omitted in the direction of strength and quality. 

Lightning is still another source of injury to cables ; this is, how- 
ever, so readily guarded against that we no longer hear of injury from 
this cause : it is said to have destroyed three cables. Mr. Siemens 
produced before the committee a piece of the core of the Corfu cable 
injured by lightning ; the land-line had been struck, and, from the ab- 
sence of any lightning-guards, the cable was damaged. Mr. Preece 
described the Jersey cable as having been destroyed by lightning. Mr. 

See article, iu this number, on the " Borers of the Sea." 


Fleeming Jenkin has seen a fault 18 inches long due to this cause, 
and it is asserted that the same cause destroyed the Toulon-Algiers 
cable, which was connected to the land-lines without lightning-guards. 

We are every now and then startled by the announcement that 
light cables are to be preferred to the present iron-clad type, and the 
object of this investigation has been to discover what data there are 
to justify any pi'eference to one form of cable over another. I have 
said already that the committee called attention to the remarkable fact 
that, in almost all cases, small cables have been found liable to mis- 
haps, while the heavier the cable the greater had been its durability. 

Mr. Newall, in his evidence, said that the hemp-covered cable 
which he attempted to lay in 1859, between Candia and Egypt, had 
the hemp eaten off by the teredo in a very short time, and it was too 
weak to recover for repairing. The same firm laid an unprotected core 
from Varna to the Crimea, and it lasted until the winter set in ; it is 
frequently said that it was cut by order of the French commander-in- 
chief, but there is no proof of this, and I am not disposed to believe 
it. Mr. Woodehouse, the engineer who laid this core, said in his 
evidence he " should not advise anybody to lay so light a cable across 
the Atlantic, because so small a strain would break it. Ifitisonce 
safe at the bottom, perhaps it may rest." Mr. Newall said he thought 
it folly to lay any thing excepting unprotected core. Consistently 
with this conviction, he laid in 1869 several lines of unprotected India- 
rubber core, connecting the Grecian islands with the main-land ; they 
were protected only near the shore. The sea is quiet and tideless in 
those parts; no better spot could be wished for the experiment, yet 
they every one of them gave out within two years. 

The Red Sea cable, covered externally with light wires, and unpro- 
tected with bituminous compound, was so rusted in a short time that 
it could not be lifted for repairs. 

Notwithstanding, Mr. Newall's partiality for light cables, he sug- 
gests at the close of his evidence what I assume he would consider 
the most perfect form of cable. He would cover the copper with 
India-rubber, protect this core with steel wires vulcanized, the whole 
then passed through heat; thus insulating all the wires, he would make 
the cable in one length, and have no joints. Mr. Fleeming Jenkin, in 
his report to the International Exhibition of 1862, says : 

" So long as the iron wires lasted, the cables frequently continued to work 
in spite of faults, but sooner or later the iron wires of all these light cables 
rusted away in parts ; so soon as this took place they one and all broke up into 
short sections ; this fact has been observed in depths of 100 fathoms ; " the reasons 
were not obvious to Mr. Jenkin, but he says : " Meanwhile the use of large iron 
wire seems a sure guarantee against this danger, for as yet no cable covered 
with wire of the large gauges has ever parted in the manner described. The 
difficulty is, to find a permanent material which shall retain its strength and con- 
tinue to afford protection after the cable is laid." 


Every word of this can be written at the present moment, that is, 
ten years later, with exactly the same significance. All cables which 
have been manufactured and laid upon the principles which were es- 
tablished in 1859 are yet in good working order, and every divergence 
from these principles has been at best but a costly experiment or utter 
failure. There is no instance yet of a well-manufactured heavy cable 
breaking or giving out in deep water after it has been carefully laid 
free from defects ; but there may be much due to the external cover- 
ing keeping it quiet ; there has assuredly been a great deal due to the 
external covering in the successful submerging, and there is no expe- 
rience whatever to justify the assumption that an unprotected core 
would last, even if laid. 

It has been urged that an iron-covered cable, suspended from one 
point to another, gradually becomes weaker, that rust and marine 
growth or deposit accumulate and break the cable with their weight ; 
but I do not know of any instance in support of the assumption, nor is 
it at all certain that a simple unprotected core would exist for any 
length of time, or be in any way better adapted for the supposed con- 
ditions. Mr. Latimer Clark, in his evidence, says : " You want a cer- 
tain degree of weight to enable your cable to sink steadily to the bot- 
tom, especially when it has to fall into hollows and cavities, and not 
lie loosely across elevations." 

Again, it is urged that experiments with light cables have been 
tried in factories or sheds, and the result proves that there are many 
advantages in their favor ; but I am of opinion that no experiments 
which can be made on shore will sufficiently resemble the exigencies 
which may occur over a period of several days and nights at sea in 
storms and darkness, and still less will they prove their fitness for the 
unknown conditions which may exist at great ocean-depths. I desire to 
write with great respect for the opinions of the talented men who urge 
the adoption of light cables ; it is my special duty to weigh well and 
without prejudice all they have to advance ; but I think a careful in- 
vestigation into the experience and practice of the last twenty years 
establishes conclusively that all light cables have been short-lived, and 
that all heavy cables have continued working, often under most ad- 
verse conditions. It is my own opinion, and I am authorized to say 
that it is also the opinion of my friend Captain Halpin, who has laid 
all the cables from Suez to Australia, besides the French Atlantic 
cable (11,000 miles), and has also recovered and repaired cables from 
a great variety of depths, that a cable should be as heavy as it can be 
laid with safety, and admit of being recovered in case of accident. 
Multiply every precaution which shall increase the strength and keep 
that strength intact as long as possible. 

The best form of light cable I have seen is the copper-covered core 
invented by Mr. Siemens (No. 8). I should have anticipated that, if 
any light cable could have been successful, this one would have met 


all the conditions, excepting that of extreme cheapness, but it has not 
been so uniformly successful as the heavy iron-clad cables. The very 
light cable invented by Mr. Varley (No. 21) admits of being laid by 
having the strain taken off the core by the two hempen strands, the 
core itself beinGf the third strand of the cable. As a liadit cable, to be 
manufactured in a great hurry, and laid to meet some emergency, it 
has a good deal of merit, but for a deep-sea cable I am. of opinion that 
it would be found too incomplete and unfinished, and that difficulties 
would be experienced in laying which are not at once foreseen, and 
that there would be no durability even if successfully laid. 

Every day of my experience in watching over the permanence of 
the 10,000 miles of cable under my care, confirms me in the opinion 
that too great caution and vigilance cannot be exercised in the making 
and laying a thread which is to be removed from all human vision for- 
ever, and designed to earn dividends by continuing a perfect conductor 
of electricity. Upward of 30,000 miles of cable have been laid since 
the report of the committee was printed, eleven years ago, and much 
experience has been gained of the exigencies incidental to submerging, 
buoying, grappling, and repairing ; but no fact has resulted from all 
that experience which has established that any one precaution recom- 
mended in the report has been superfluous, whereas much has occurred, 
which I will not particularize, proving that any attempt to disregard 
any single precaution has resulted in great pecuniary loss or utter 

We have many reasons to confirm the belief that a submarine 
cable, manufactured and laid with strict attention to all known princi- 
ples, may be regarded as a substantial property, likely to last for any 
length of time; for there is no evidence whatever upon record which 
shows any decay of the insulating medium or copper conductor of a 
well-manufactured cable, i. e., there is no decay inherent in the nature 
of a cable ; all deterioration is external ; nor is there any experience 
whatever to establish that this insulated copper wire will enjoy any 
durability if unprotected with an external covering. 

A light cable or unprotected core must therefore be regarded at 
best as an experiment, with the chances against the successful laying, 
and still more against its existing as a permanent property. 

I have written enough to illustrate that the present submarine 
cable is not a haphazard idea, but one which has grown out of many 
failures and thousands of experiments; all the principles of manufac- 
ture and laying down have been established by great anxiety and re- 
flection on the part of the able men who gave their energies to this 
kind of enterprise prior to 1865. We who have come upon the stage 
since that date have only discovered that we may not neglect one of 
all the known principles, but elaborate every one of them, and even 
then the duty of laying and maintaining this class of property has 
enough of risks and anxieties to make one heartily dislike any experi- 


merit which can only be advocated for the sake of cheapness in the 
first cost. I believe this economy -would be at the expense of se- 
curity, and that the cable of the future will be even heavier, more per- 
fect, and more costly, than the cable of the present day. Abstract of 
Address before the Statistical Society. 


X. The Class-Bias. 

MANY years ago, a solicitor, sitting by me at dinner, complained 
bitterly of the injury which the then lately-established County 
Courts were doing his profession. He enlarged on the topic in a way 
implying that he expected me to agree with him in therefore con- 
demning them. So incapable was he of going beyond the professional 
point of view, that what he regarded as a grievance he thought I also 
ought to regard as a grievance : oblivious of the fact that the more 
economical administration of justice, of which his lamentation gave me 
proof, was to me, not being a lawyer, matter for rejoicing. 

The bias thus exemplified is a bias by which nearly all have their 
opinions warped. Naval officers disclose the unhesitating belief that 
we are in imminent danger because the cry for more fighting-ships 
and more sailors has not been met to their satisfaction. The debates 
on the purchase-system proved how strong was the conviction of mili- 
tary men that our national safety depended on the maintenance of an 
army-organization like that in which they were brought up, and had 
attained their respective ranks. Clerical opposition to the repeal of 
the Corn-laws showed how completely that view which Christian min- 
isters might have been expected to take, was shut out by a view more 
congruous with their interests and alliances. In all classes and sub- 
classes it is the same. Hear the murmurs uttered when, because of 
the Queen's absence, there is less expenditure in entertainments and 
the so-called gayeties of the season, and you perceive that London 
traders think the nation suffers if the consumption of superfluities is 
checked. Study the pending controversy about cooperative stores versus 
retail shops, and you find the shopkeeping mind possessed by the idea 
that society commits a wrong if it deserts shops and goes to stores 
is quite unconscious that the present distributing system rightly exists 
only as a means of economically and conveniently supplying con- 
sumers, and must yield to another system if that should prove more 
economical and convenient. Similarly with the other trading bodies, 
general and special similarly with the merchants who opposed the 
repeal of the Navigation Laws ; similarly with the Coventry weavers, 
who like free-trade in all things save ribbons. 


The class-bias, like the bias of patriotism, is a reflex egoism ; and, 
like it, has its uses and abuses. As the strong feelings enlisted on 
behalf of one's nation cause that enthusiastic cooperation by which its 
integrity is maintained in presence of other nations, severally tending 
to spread and subjugate their neighbors ; so the esprit de corps, more 
or less manifest in each specialized part of the body politic, prompts 
measures to preserve the integrity of that part in opposition to other 
parts, all more or less antagonistic. The egoism of individuals be- 
comes an egoism of the class they form ; and, besides the separate 
efforts, generates a joint effort to get an undue share of the aggregate 
proceeds of social activity. The aggressive tendency of each class, so 
produced, has to be balanced by like aggressive tendencies of other 
classes. The class-feelings do, in short, develop one another ; and the 
respective organizations in which they embody themselves develop 
one another. Large classes of the community, marked off by rank, 
and sub-classes marked off by special occupations, everywhere form 
their defensive combinations, and set up organs advocating their inter- 
ests ; and the reason assigned is in all cases the same the need for 

Along with the good which a society derives from this self-assert- 
ing and self-preserving action, by which each division and subdivision 
keeps itself strong enough for its functions, there goes, among other 
evils, this which we are considering the aptness to contemplate all 
social actions in their bearings on class-interests, and the resulting ina- 
bility to estimate rightly their effects on the society as a whole. The 
habit of thought produced perverts not merely the judgments on ques- 
tions which directly touch class-welfare, but it perverts the judgments 
on multitudinous questions which touch class-welfare very indirectly, 
if at all. It fosters an adapted theory of social relations of every kind, 
with sentiments to fit the theory ; and a characteristic stamp is given 
to the beliefs on public matters in general. Take an instance : 

Whatever its technical ownership may be, Hyde Park is open for 
the public benefit : no title to special benefit is producible by those 
who ride and drive. It happens, however, that those who ride and 
drive make large use of it daily ; and extensive tracts of it have been 
laid out for their convenience : the tracts for equestrians having been 
from time to time increased. Of people without cai-riages and horses, 
a few, mostly of the kind who lead easy lives, use Hyde Park fre- 
quently as a promenade. Meanwhile, by the great mass of Londoners, 
too busy to go so far, it is scarcely ever visited : their share of the 
general benefit is scarcely appreciable. And now what do the few 
who have a constant and almost exclusive use of it think about the 
occasional use of it by the many ? They are angry when, at long in- 
tervals, even a small portion of it, quite distant from their haunts, is 
occupied for a few hours in ways disagreeable to them nay, even 
when such temporary occupation is on a day during which Rotten 


Row is nearly vacant, and the drives not one-third filled. In this, any- 
one unconcerned may see the influence of the class-bias. But he will 
have an inadequate conception of its distorting power unless he turns 
to some letters from members of the ruling class published in the 
Times in November last, when the question of the Park Rules was 
being agitated. One writer, signing himself "A Liberal M. P.," ex- 
pressing his disgust at certain addresses he heard, proposed, if others 
would join him, to give the offensive speakers punishment by force of 
fists ; and then, on a subsequent day, another legislator, similarly 
moved, writes : 

"If M. P.' is in earnest in his desire to get some honest men together to 
take the law into their own hands, I can promise him a pretty good backing 
from those who are not afraid to take all the consequences. 

" I am, sir, your obedient servant, AN EX-M. P." 

And thus we find class-feeling extinguishing rational political 
thinking so completely that, wonderful to relate, two law-makers pro- 
pose to support the law by breaking the law ! 

In larger ways we have of late seen the class-bias doing the same 
thing causing contempt for those principles of constitutional govern- 
ment slowly and laboriously established, and prompting a return to 
barbaric forms of government. Read the debate respecting the pay- 
ment of Governor Eyre's expenses, and study the division-lists, and 
you see that acts which, according to the Lord Chief-Justice, " have 
brought reproach not only on those who were parties to them, but 
on the very name of England," can, nevertheless, find numerous de- 
fenders among men whose class-positions, military, naval, official, etc., 
make them love power and detest resistance. Nay, more, by rais- 
ing an Eyre-Testimonial Fund, and in other ways, there was shown 
a deliberate approval of acts which needlessly suspended orderly gov- 
ernment and substituted unrestrained despotism. There was shown a 
deliberate ignoring of the essential question raised, which was whether 
an executive head might, at will, set aside all those forms of administra- 
tion by which men's lives and liberties are guarded against tyranny. 

More recently, this same class-bias has been shown by the protest 
made when Mr. Cowan was dismissed for executing the Kooka rioters 
who had surrendered. The Indian Government, having inquired into 
the particulars, found that this killing of many men, without form of 
law and contrary to orders, could not be defended on the plea of press- 
ing danger; and, finding this, it ceased to employ the officer who had 
committed so astounding a deed, and removed to another province the 
superior officer who had approved of the deed. Not excessive punish- 
ment, one would say. Some might contend that extreme mildness 
was shown in thus inflicting no greater evil than is inflicted on a la- 
borer when he does not execute his work properly. But now mark 
what is thought by one who gives utterance to the bias of the govern- 


ing classes, intensified by life in India. In a letter published in the 
Times of May 15, 1872, the late Sir Donald McLeod writes concerning 
this dismissal and removal : 

"All the information that reaches me tends to prove that a severe hlow has 
heen given to all chance of vigorous or independent action in future, when emer- 
gencies may arise. The whole service appears to have been astonished and 
appalled by the mode in which the officers have been dealt with." 

That we may see clearly what amazing perversions of sentiment 
and idea are caused by contemplating actions from class points of 
view, let us turn from this feeling of sympathy with Mr. Cowan to the 
feeling of detestation shown by members of the same class in England 
toward a man who kills a fox that destroys his poultry. Here is a 
paragraph from a recent paper : 

"Five poisoned foxes have been found in the neighborhood of Penzance, and 
there is consequently great indignation among the western sportsmen. A re- 
ward of 20 has been offered for information that shall lead to the conviction 
of the poisoner." 

So that wholesale homicide, condemned alike by religion, by equity, 
by law, is approved, and the mildest punishment of it blamed ; while 
vulpicide, committed in defence of property, and condemned neither 
by religion, nor by equity, nor by any law save that of sportsmen, ex- 
cites an anger that cries aloud for positive penalties i 

I need not further illustrate the more special distortions of socio- 
logical belief which result from the class-bias. They may be detected 
in the conversations over every table, and in the articles appearing in 
every party-journal or professional publication. The effects here most 
worthy of our attention are the general effects the effects produced on 
the minds of the upper and lower classes. Let us observe how greatly 
the sentiments and ideas generated by their respective social positions 
pervert the conceptions of employers and employed. We will deal 
with the employed first. 

As before shown, mere associations of ideas, especially when joined 
with emotions, affect our beliefs, not simply without reason, but in 
spite of reason, causing us, for instance, to think there is something 
intrinsically repugnant in a place where many painful experiences have 
been received, and something intrinsically charming in a scene con- 
nected with many past delights. The liability to such perversions of 
judgment is greatest where persons are the objects with which pleas- 
ures and pains are habitually associated. One who has often been, 
even unintentionally, a cause of gratification, is favorably judged ; and 
an unfavorable judgment is apt to be formed of one who, even invol- 
untarily, has often inflicted sufferings. Hence, where there are social 
antagonisms, arises the universal tendency to blame the individuals, 
and to hold them responsible for the system. 


It is thus with the concejjtions the working-classes frame of those 
by whom they are immediately employed, and of those who fill the 
higher social positions. Feeling keenly what they have to bear, and 
tracing sundry real grievances to men who buy their labor, and men 
who are most influential in making the laws, artisans and rustics con- 
clude that, considered individually and in combination, those above 
them are personally bad selfish, or tyrannical, in special degrees. It 
never occurs to them that the evils they complain of result from the 
average human nature of our age. And yet, were it not for the class- 
bias, they would see, in their dealings with one another, plenty of 
proofs that the injustices they suffer are certainly not greater, and pos- 
sibly less, than they would be were the higher social functions dis- 
charged by individuals taken from among themselves. The simple 
fact, notorious enough, that working-men, who save money and become 
masters, are not more considerate than usual toward those they em- 
ploy, but often the contrary, might alone convince them of this. On 
all sides there is ample evidence having kindred meaning. Let them 
inquire about the life in every kitchen where there are several servants, 
and they will find quarrels about supremacy, tyrannies over juniors 
who are made to do more than their proper work, throwings of blame 
from one to another, and the many forms of misconduct caused by 
want of right feeling ; and very often the evils growing up in one of 
these small groups are greater than the evils pervading society at 
large. The doings in workshops, too, illustrate in various ways the 
ill-treatment of artisans by one another. Hiding the tools and spoil- 
in o- the work of those who do not conform to their unreasonable cus- 
toms, prove how little individual freedom is respected among them. 
And still more conspicuously is this proved by the internal govern- 
ments of their trade-combinations. Not to dwell on the occasional 
killing of men among them, who assert their rights to sell their labor 
as they please, or on the frequent acts of violence and intimidation 
committed by those on strike against those who undertake the work 
they have refused, it suffices to cite the despotism exercised by trades- 
union officers. The daily acts of these make it manifest that the ruling 
organizations formed by working-men inflict on them grievances as 
great as, if not greater than, those which the organization of society 
at large inflicts. When the heads of a combination he has joined 
forbid a collier to work more than three days in a week when he 
is limited to a certain "get" in that space of time when he dares 
not accept from his employer an increasing bonus for every extra day 
he works when, as a reason for declining, he says that he should be 
made miserable by his comrades, and that even his wife would not be 
spoken to ; it becomes clear that he and the rest have made for them- 
selves a tyranny worse than the tyrannies complained of. Did he 
look at the facts, apart from class-bias, the skilful artisan, who in a 
given time can do more than his fellows, but who dares not do it be- 

VOL. III. 4 


cause he would be " sent to Coventry " by them, and who conse- 
quently cannot reap the benefit of his superior powers, would see that 
he is thus aggressed upon by his fellows more seriously than by acts 
of Parliament or combinations of capitalists. And he would further 
see that the sentiment of justice in his own class is certainly not greater 
than in the classes he thinks so unjust. 

The feeling which thus warps working-men's conceptions, at the 
same time prevents them from seeing that each of their unions is self- 
ishly aiming to benefit at the expense of the industrial population at 
large. When a combination of carpenters or of engineers makes rules 
limiting the number of apprentices admitted, with the view of main- 
taining the rate of wages paid to its members when it thus tacitly 
says to every applicant beyond the number allowed, " Go and appren- 
tice yourself elsewhere ; " it is indirectly saying to all other bodies of 
artisans, " You may have your wages lowered by increasing your 
numbers, but we will not." And when the other bodies of artisans 
severally do the like, the general result is that the incorporated work- 
ers, of all orders, say to the surplus sons of workers who want to find 
occupations, "We will none of us let our masters employ you." Thus 
each trade, in its eagerness for self-protection, is regardless of other 
trades, and sacrifices numbers among the rising generation of the ar- 
tisan class. Nor is it thus only that the interest of each class of arti- 
sans is pursued to the detriment of the artisan-class in general. I do 
not refer to the way in which, when bricklayers strike, they throw out 
of employment the laborers who attend them, or to the way in which 
the colliers now on strike have forced idleness on the iron-workers ; but 
I refer to the way in which the course taken by any one set of opera- 
tives, to get higher wages, is taken regardless of the fact that an event- 
ual rise in the price of the commodity produced is a disadvantage to 
all other operatives. The class-bias, fostering the belief that the ques- 
tion in each case is entirely one between employer- and employed, be- 
tween capital and labor, shuts out the truth that the interests of all 
consumers are involved, and that the immense majority of consumers 
belong to the working-classes themselves. If the consumers are named, 
such of them only are remembered as belong to the wealthier classes, 
who, it is thought, can well afford to pay higher prices. Listen to a 
passage from Mr. George Potter's paper, read at the late Leeds Con- 
gress : 

" The consumer, in fact, in so high a civilization, so arrogant a luxurious- 
ness, and so impatient an expectancy as characterize him in our land and age, 
is ever ready to take the alarm and to pour out the phials of his wrath upon 
those whom he merely suspects of taking a course which may keep a feather 
out of his hed, a spice out of his dish, or a coal out of his fire; and, unfortu- 
nately for the chances of fairness, the weight of his anger seldom falls upon the 
capitalists, hut is most certain to come crushing down upon the lowly laborer, 
who has dared to stand upon his own right and independence." 


From which it might be supposed that all skilled and unskilled 
artisans and farm-laborers, with their wives and children, live upon air 
need no food, no clothing, no furniture, no houses, and are therefore 
unaffected by enhanced prices of commodities. However fully prepared 
for the distorting effects of class-bias, one would hardly have expected 
effects so great. One would have thought it manifest, even to an ex- 
treme partisan of trades-unions, that a strike which makes coal as dear 
again, affects, in a relatively small degree, the thousands of rich con- 
sumers above described, and is very keenly felt by the millions of poor 
consumers to whom, in winter, the outlay for coal is a serious item of 
expenditure. One would have thought that a truth, so obvious in this 
case, would be recognized throughout the truth that, with nearly all 
products of industry, the evil caused by a rise of price falls more 
heavily on the vast numbers who work for wages than on the small 
numbers who have moderate incomes or large incomes. 

Were not their judgments warped by the class-bias, working-men 
might be more pervious to the truth that better forms of industrial or- 
ganization would grow up and extinguish this which they regard as 
oppressive, were such better forms practicable. And they might see 
that the impracticability of better forms results from the imperfections 
of existing human nature, moral and intellectual. If the workers in 
any business could so combine and govern themselves that the share 
of profit coming to them as workers was greater than now, while the 
interest on the capital employed was less than now ; and if they could 
at the same time sell the articles produced at lower rates than like 
articles produced in businesses managed as at present, then, manifest- 
ly, businesses managed as at present would go to the wall. That they 
do not so to the wall that such better industrial organizations do 
not replace them, implies that the natures of working-men themselves 
are not good enough ; or, at least, that there are not many of them 
good enough. Happily, to some extent, organizations of a superior 
type are becoming possible : here and there they have achieved en- 
couraging successes. But, speaking generally, the masses are neither 
sufficiently provident, nor sufficiently conscientious, nor sufficiently in- 
telligent. Consider the evidence. 

That they are not provident enough they show both by wasting 
their higher wages when they get them, and by neglecting such oppor- 
tunities as occur of entering into modified forms of cooperative indus- 
try. When the Gloucester Wagon Company was formed, it was de- 
cided to reserve a thousand of its shares, of ten pounds each, for the 
workmen employed ; and to suit them it was arranged that the calls 
of a pound each should be at intervals of three months. As many of 
the men earned 2 10s. per week, in a locality where living is not cost- 
ly, it was considered that the taking up of shares in this manner 
would be quite practicable. All the circumstances were at the outset 
such as to promise that prosperity which the company has achieved. 


The chairman is no less remarkable for his skill in the conduct of large 
undertakings than for that sympathy with the working-classes which 
led him to adopt this course. The manager had been himself a work- 
ing-man ; and so fully possessed the confidence of working-men that 
many migrated with him from the Midland counties when the com- 
pany was formed. Further, the manager entered heartily into the 
plan telling me himself that he had rejoiced over the founding of a 
concern in which those employed would have an interest. His hopes, 
however, and those of the chairman, were disappointed. After the 
lapse of a year, not one of the thousand shares was taken up ; and 
they were then distributed among the proprietors. Doubtless, there 
have been in other cases more encouraging results. But this case is 
one added to others which show that the proportion of working-men 
adequately provident is not great enough to permit an extensive 
growth of better industrial organizations. 

Again, the success of industrial organizations, higher in type, re- 
quires in the members a nicer sense of justice than is at present gen- 
eral. Closer cooperation implies greater mutual trust ; and greater 
mutual trust is not possible without more respect for one another's 
claims. When we find that in sick-clubs it is not uncommon for mem- 
bers to continue receiving aid when they are able to work, so that 
spies have to be set to check them ; while, on the other hand, those 
who administer the funds often cause insolvency by embezzling them ; 
we cannot avoid the inference that want of conscientiousness must 
very generally prevent the effective union of workers under no regu- 
lation but their own. When, among skilled laborers, we find a certain 
rate per hour demanded, because less " did not suffice for their natural 
wants," though the unskilled laborers working under them were re- 
ceiving little more than half the rate per hour, and were kept out of 
the skilled class by stringent rules, we do not discover a moral sense 
so much above that shown by employers as to promise success for in- 
dustrial combinations superior to our present ones. While workmen 
think themselves justified in combining to sell their labor only on 
certain terms, but think masters not justified in combining to buy 
only on certain terms, they show a conception of equity not high 
enough to make practicable a form of cooperation requiring that each 
shall recognize the claims of others as fully as his own. One pervad- 
ing misconception of justice betrayed by them would alone suffice 
to cause failure the misconception, namely, that justice requires an 
equal sharing of benefits among producers, instead of requiring, as it 
does, equal freedom to make the best of their faculties. The general 
policy of trades-unionism, tending everywhere to restrain the superior 
from profiting by his superiority lest the inferior should be disadvan- 
taged, is a policy which, acted out in any industrial combinations, must 
make them incapable of competing with combinations based on the 
principle that benefit gained shall be proportioned to faculty put forth. 


Thus, as acting on the employed in general, the class-bias obscures 
the truth, otherwise not easy to see, that the existing type of in- 
dustrial organization, like the existing type of political organization, 
is about as good as existing human nature allows. The evils there are 
in it are nothing but the evils brought round on men by their own im- 
perfections. The relation of master and workman has to be tolerated, 
because, for the time being, no other will answer as well. Looked at 
apart from special interests, this organization of industry we now see 
around us must be considered as one in which the cost of regulation, 
though not so great as it once was, is still excessive. In any indus- 
trial combination there must be a regulating agency. That regulating 
agency, whatever its nature, must be paid for must involve a deduc- 
tion from the total proceeds of the labor regulated. The present sys- 
tem is one under which the share of the total proceeds that goes to 
pay for regulation is considerable ; and, under better systems to be 
expected hereafter, there will doubtless be a decrease in the cost of 
regulation. But, for the present, our comparatively-costly system has 
the justification that it alone succeeds. Regulation is costly because 
the men to be regulated are defective. With decrease of their defects 
will come economy of regulation, and consequently greater shares of 
profit to themselves. 

Let me not be misunderstood. The foregoing criticism does not 
imply that operatives have no grievances to complain of ; nor does it 
imply that trade-combinations and strikes are without adequate justi- 
fications. It is quite possible to hold that when, instead of devouring 
their captured enemies, men made slaves of them, the change was a 
step in advance ; and to hold that this slavery, though absolutely bad, 
was relatively good was the best thing practicable for the time 
being. It is quite possible also to hold that when slavery gave place 
to a serfdom under which certain personal rights were recognized, the 
new arrangement, though in the abstract an inequitable one, was 
more equitable than the old, and constituted as great an amelioration 
as men's natures then permitted. It is quite possible to hold that 
when, instead of serfs, there came freemen working for wages, but 
held as a class in extreme subordination, this modified relation of em- 
ployers and employed, though bad, was as good a one as was then 
practicable. And so it may be held that at the present time, though 
the form of industrial government entails serious evils, those evils, 
much less than the evils of past times, are as small as the average 
human nature allows are not due to any special injustice of the em- 
ploying class, and can be remedied only as fast as men in general 
advance. On the other hand, while contending that the policy of 
trades-unions, and the actions of men on strike, manifest an injustice as 
great as that shown by the employing classes, it is quite consistent to 
admit, and even to assert, that the evil acts of trade-combinations are 
the unavoidable accompaniments of a needful self-defence. Selfishness 


on the one side, resisting selfishness on the other, inevitably commits 
sins akin to those it complains of cannot effectually check harsh deal- 
ings without itself using harsh measures. Further, it may be fully 
admitted that the evils of working-class combinations, great as they 
are, are accompanied by certain benefits, and will perhaps hereafter be 
followed by greater benefits are evils accompanying the transition to 
better arrangements. 

Here my purpose is neither to condemn nor to applaud the ideas 
and actions of the employed in their dealings with employers ; but 
simply to point out how the class-bias warps working-men's judgments 
of social relations makes it difficult for working-men to see that our 
existing industrial system is a product of existing human nature, and 
can be improved only as fast as human nature improves. 

The ruling and employing classes display an equally-strong bias of 
the opposite kind. From their point of view, the behavior of their 
poorer fellow-citizens throughout these struggles appears uniformly 
blamable. That they experience from a strike inconvenience, more or 
less considerable, sufficiently proves to them that the strike must be 
wrong. They think there is something intolerable in this indepen- 
dence which leads to refusals to work except at higher wages or for 
shorter times. That the many should be so reckless of the welfare of 
the few, seems to the few a grievance not to be endured. Though Mr. 
George Potter, as shown above, wrongly speaks of the consumer as 
though he were always rich, instead of being, in nine cases out of ten, 
poor ; yet he rightly describes the rich consumer as indignant when 
operatives dare to take a course which threatens to raise the prices of 
necessaries and make luxuries more costly. This feeling, often be- 
trayed in private, exhibited itself in public on the occasion of the late 
strike among the gas-stokers ; when there were uttered proposals that 
acts entailing so much inconvenience should be put down with a 
strong hand. And the same spirit was shown in that straining of the 
law which brought on the men the punishment for conspiracy, instead 
of the punishment for breach of contract ; which was well deserved, 
and would have been quite sufficient. 

This mental attitude of the employing classes is daily shown by the 
criticisms passed on servants. Read " The Greatest Plague in Life," 
or listen to the complaints of every housewife, and you see that the 
minds of masters and mistresses are so much occupied with their own 
interests as to leave little room for the interests of the men and maids 
in their service. The very title, " The Greatest Plague in Life," implies 
that the only life worthy of notice is the life to which servants min- 
ister ; and there is an entire unconsciousness that a book with the 
same title, written by a servant about masters and mistresses, might 
be filled with equally-severe criticisms and grievances far more serious. 
The increasing independence of servants is enlarged upon as a change 


greatly to be lamented. There is no recognition of the fact that this 
increasing independence implies an increasing prosperity of the classes 
from which servants come ; and that this amelioration in the condition 
of the many is a good far greater than the evil entailed on the few. 
It is not perceived that if servants, being in great demand and easily 
able to get places, will no longer submit to restrictions, say about 
dress, like those of past times, the change is part of the progress tow- 
ard a social state which, if apparently not so convenient for the small 
regulating classes, implies an elevation of the large regulated classes. 

The feeling shown by the rich, in their thoughts about and dealings 
with the poor, is, in truth, but a mitigated form of the feeling which 
owners of serfs and owners of slaves displayed. In early times bonds- 
men were treated as though they existed simply for the benefit of their 
owners ; and down to the present time the belief pervading the select 
ranks (not indeed expressed, but clearly enough implied) is, that the 
convenience of the select is the first consideration, and the welfare of 
the masses a secondary consideration. Just as an Old-English thane 
would have been astonished if told that the only justification for his 
existence as an owner of thralls was, that the lives of his thralls were 
on the whole better preserved and more comfortable than they would 
be did he not own them ; so, now, it will astonish the dominant classes 
to assert that their only legitimate raison d'etre is, that by their instru- 
mentality as regulators the lives of the people are, on the average, 
made more satisfactory than they would otherwise be. And yet, 
looked at apart from class-bias, this is surely an undeniable truth. 
Ethically considered, there has never been any warrant for the subjec- 
tion of the many to the few, except that it has furthered the welfare 
of the many; and, at the present time, furtherance of the welfare of the 
many is the only warrant for that degree of class-subordination which 
continues. The existing conception must be, in the end, entirely 
changed. Just as the old theory of political government has been so 
transformed that the ruling agent, instead of being owner of the na- 
tion, has come to be regarded as servant of the nation; so the old 
theory of industrial and social government has to undergo a transfor- 
mation which will make the regulating classes feel, while duly pursuing 
their own interests, that their interests are secondary to the interests 
of the masses whose labors they direct. 

While the bias cf rulers and masters makes it difficult for them to 
conceive this, it also makes it difficult for them to conceive that a de- 
cline of class-power and a decrease of class-distinctions may be accom- 
panied by improvement not only in the lives of the regulated classes, 
but in the lives of the regulating: classes. The sentiments and ideas 
proper to the existing social organization prevent the rich from seeing 
that worry and weariness and disappointment result to them indirectly 
from this social system, apparently so conducive to their welfare. Yet, 
would they contemplate the past, they might find strong reasons for 


suspecting as much. The baron of feudal days never imagined the 
possibility of social arrangements that would serve him far better than 
the arrangements he so strenuously upheld ; nor did he see in the ar- 
rangements he upheld the causes of his* many sufferings and discom- 
forts. Had he been told that a noble might be much happier without 
a moated castle, having its keep and secret passages and dungeons for 
prisoners that he might be more secure without drawbridge and 
portcullis, men-at-arms and sentinels that he might be in less danger 
having no vassals or hired mercenaries that he might be wealthier 
without possessing a single serf; he would have thought the state- 
ments absurd even to the extent of insanity. It would have been use- 
less to argue that the regime seeming so advantageous to him entailed 
hardships of so many kinds perpetual feuds with his neighbors, open 
attacks, surprises, betrayals, revenges by equals, treacheries by infe- 
riors ; the continual carrying of arms and wearing of armor ; the per- 
petual quarrellings of servants and disputes among vassals ; the coarse 
and unvaried food supplied by an unprosperous agriculture ; a domes- 
tic discomfort such as no modern servant would tolerate : resulting in 
a wear and tear that brought life to a comparatively early close, if it 
was not violently cut short in battle or by murder. Yet what the 
class-bias of that time made it impossible for him to see, has become to 
his modern representative conspicuous enough. The peer of our day 
knows that he is better off without defensive appliances, and retainers, 
and serfs, than his predecessor was with them. His country-house is 
more secure than was an embattled tower ; he is safer among his un- 
armed domestics than a feudal lord was when surrounded by armed 
guards ; he is in less danger going about weaponless than was the 
mail-clad knight with lance and sword. Though he has no vassals to 
fight at his command, there is no suzerain who can call on him to sacri- 
fice his life in a quarrel not his own ; though he can compel no one to 
labor, the labors of freemen make him immensely more wealthy than 
was the ancient holder of bondsmen ; and along with the loss of direct 
control over workers there has grown up an industrial system which 
supplies him with multitudinous conveniences and luxuries undreamt 
of by him who had workers at unchecked command. 

'May we not, then, suspect that, just as the dominant classes of an- 
cient days were prevented by the feelings and ideas appropriate to 
the then-existing social state from seeing how much evil is brought on 
them, and how much better for them might be a social state in which 
their power was much less ; so the dominant classes of the present day 
are disabled from seeing how the existing forms of class-subordination 
redound to their own injury, and how much happier may be their fu- 
ture representatives having social positions less prominent ? Occa- 
sionally recognizing, though they do, certain indirect evils attending 
their supremacy, they do not see that by accumulation these indirect 
evils constitute a penalty which supremacy brings on them. Though 



they repeat the trite reflection that riches fail to purchase content, 
they do not draw the inference that there must be something wrong 
in a system which thus deludes them. You hear it from time to time 
admitted that great wealth is a heavy burden : the life of a rich peer 
being described as made like the life of an attorney by the extent of 
his affairs. You observe, among those whose large means and various 
estates enable them to multiply their appliances to gratification, that 
every new appliance becomes an additional something to be looked 
after, and adds to the possibilities of vexation. Further, if you put 
together the open confessions and the tacit admissions, you find that, 
apart from these anxieties and annoyances, the kind of life which 
riches and honors bring is not a satisfactory life its inside differs im- 
mensely from its outside. In candid moments the " social tread-mill " 
is complained of by those who nevertheless think themselves com- 
pelled to keep up its monotonous round. As every one may see, fash- 
ionable life is passed, not in being happy, but in playing at being 
happy. And yet the manifest corollary is not drawn by those engaged 
in this life. 

To an outsider it is obvious that the benefits obtained by the regu- 
lative classes of our day, through the existing form of social organiza- 
tion, are full of disguised evils ; and that this undue wealth which 
makes possible the passing of idle lives brings dissatisfactions in place 
of the satisfactions expected. Just as in feudal times the appliances 
for safety were the accompaniments to a social state that brought a 
more than equivalent danger ; so, now, the excess of aids to pleasure 
among the rich is the accompaniment of a social state that brings a 
counterbalancing displeasure. The gratifications reached by those 
who make the pursuit of gratifications a business, dwindle to a mini- 
mum ; while the trouble, and weariness, and vexation, and jealousy, 
and disappointment, rise to a maximum. That this is an inevitable 
result any one may see who studies the psychology of the matter. 
The pleasure-hunting life fails for the reason that it leaves large parts 
of the nature unexercised : it neglects the satisfactions gained by suc- 
cessful activity, and there is missing from it the serene consciousness 
of services rendered to others. Egoistic enjoyments, continuously pur- 
sued, pall, because the appetites for them are satiated in times much 
shorter than our waking lives give us : leaving times that are either 
empty or spent in efforts to get enjoyment after desire has ceased. 
They pall also from the want of that broad contrast which arises 
when a moiety of life is actively occupied. These negative causes of 
dissatisfaction are joined with the positive cause indicated the ab- 
sence of that content gained by successful achievement. One of the 
most massive and enduring gratifications is the sense of personal 
worth, ever afresh demonstrating itself to consciousness by effectual 
action ; and an idle life is balked of its hopes partly because it lacks 
this. Lastly, the implied absence of altruistic activities, or of activi- 


ties felt to be in some way serviceable to others, brings kindred evils 
an absence of certain positive pleasures of a high order, not easily 
exhausted, and a further falling back on egoistic pleasures, again tend- 
ing toward satiety. And all this, with its resulting weariness and dis- 
content, we may trace to a social organization under which there comes 
to the regulating classes a share of produce great enough to make 
possible large accumulations that support useless descendants. 

The bias of the wealthy in favor of arrangements apparently so 
conducive to their comforts and pleasures, while it shuts out the per- 
ception of these indirect penalties brought round on them by their 
seeming advantages, also shuts out the perception that there is any 
thing mean in being a useless consumer of things which others pro- 
duce. Contrariwise, there still survives, though in a weaker form, the 
belief that it is honorable to do nothing but seek enjoyments, and 
relatively dishonorable to pass life in supplying others with the means 
to enjoyment. In this, as in other things, our temporary state brings 
a temporary standard of honor appropriate to it ; and the accompany- 
ing sentiments and ideas exclude the conception of a state in which 
what is now thought admirable will be thought disgraceful. Yet it 
needs only, as before, to aid imagination by studying other times and 
other societies, remote in nature from our own, to see at least the pos- 
sibility of this. When we contrast the feeling of the Feejeeans, among 
whom a man has a restless ambition to be acknowledged as a murderer, 
with the feeling among civilized races, who shrink with horror from a 
murderer, we get undeniable proof that men in one social state pride 
themselves in characters and deeds elsewhere held in the greatest de- 
testation. Seeing which, we may infer that, just as the Feejeeans, be- 
lieving in the honorableness of murder, are regarded by us with aston- 
ishment ; so those of our own day who pride themselves in consuming 
much and producing nothing, and who care little for the well-being of 
their society so long as it supplies them with good dinners, soft beds, 
and pleasant lounging-places, may be regarded with astonishment by 
men of times to come, living under higher social forms. Nay, we may 
see not merely the possibility of such a change in sentiment, but the 
probability. Observe first the feeling still extant in China, where the 
honorableness of doing nothing, more strongly held than here, makes 
the wealthy wear their nails so long that they have to be tied back 
out of the way, and makes the ladies submit to prolonged tortures 
that their crushed feet may show their incapacity for work. Next, re- 
member that, in generations gone by, both here and on the Continent, 
the disgracefulness of trade was an article of faith among the upper 
classes, maintained very strenuously. Now, mark how members of 
the landed class are going into business, and even sons of peers becom- 
ing professional men and merchants ; and observe among the wealthy 
the feeling that men of their order have public duties to perform, and 
that the absolutely idle among them are blameworthy. Clearly, then, 


we have grounds for inferring that, along with the progress to a regu 
lative organization higher than the present, there will be a change of 
the kind indicated in the conception of honor. It will become a matter 
of wonder that there should ever have existed those who thought it 
admirable to enjoy without working, at the expense of others who 
worked without enjoying. 

But the temporarily adapted mental state of the ruling and em- 
ploying classes keeps out, mere or less effectually, thoughts and feel- 
ings of these kinds. Habituated from childhood to the forms of 
subordination at present existing regarding these as parts of a natural 
and permanent order finding satisfaction in supremacy, and con- 
veniences in the possession of authority ; the regulators of all kinds 
remain unconscious that this system, made necessary as it is by the 
defects of existing human nature, brings round penalties on them- 
selves as well as on those subordinate to them, and that its pervading 
theory of life is as mistaken as it is ignoble. 

Enough has been said to show that from the class-bias arise further 
obstacles to right thinking in sociology. As a part of some general 
division of a community, and again as a part of some special subdi- 
vision, the citizen acquires adapted feelings and ideas which inevitably 
influence his conclusions about public affairs. They affect alike his 
conceptions of the past, his interpretations of the present, his antici- 
pations of the future. 

Members of the regulated classes, kept in relations more or less 
antagonistic with the classes regulating them, are thereby hindered 
from seeing the need for, and benefits of, this organization which 
seems the cause of their grievances ; they are at the same time hin- 
dered from seeing the need for, and benefits of, the harsher forms of 
industrial regulation that existed during past times ; and they are also 
hindered from seeing that the improved industrial organizations of the 
future can come only through improvements in their own natures. 
On the other hand, members of the regulating classes, while partially 
blinded to the facts that the defects of the working-classes are the 
defects of natures like their own placed under different conditions, and 
that the existing system is defensible, not for its convenience to them- 
selves, but as being the best now practicable for the community at 
large, are also partially blinded to the vices of past social arrange- 
ments, and to the badness of those who in past social systems used 
class-power less mercifully than it is used now ; while they have diffi- 
culty in seeing that the present social order, like past social orders, is 
but transitory, and that the regulating classes of the future may have, 
with diminished power, inci'eased happiness. 

Unfortunately for the Social Science, the class-bias, like the bias 
of patriotism, is in a degree needful for social preservation. It is like 
in this, too, that escape from its influence is often only effected by an 


effort that carries belief to an opposite extreme changing approval 
into a disapproval that is entire instead of partial. Hence, in the one 
case, as in the other, we must infer that the resulting obstacle to well- 
balanced conclusions can become less only as social evolution becomes 


"A /TANY stories are current as to how inventors have borrowed or 
-i-VLL stolen their ideas from Nature, and there has been much in- 
genious discussion as to whether hints thus appropriated are properly 
patentable. Boring is an example of natural processes that have 
been thus used by art, and it is remarkable that the lowest creatures 
are the most skilful mechanics in this particular. An eminent living 
inventor, who has made a fortune out of a patent auger, hit upon the 
method followed by the most successful insects which bore into hard 
wood. And so we are assured that the celebrated engineer Brunei, 
in constructing the Thames Tunnel, but imitated the shell-lined burrow 
of the Teredo navalis, or Ship-worm. This mollusk in shape resem- 
bles a worm, and surrounds itself with a shell open at both ends. 
From the mouth it can protrude its short foot, and the other extremity 
of its body; the " tail " is bifurcated, one prong being the inspirator 
and the other the expirator tube of the siphon which constitutes the 
animal's nutritive apparatus. 

It has long been a subject of controversy among naturalists how 
the Ship-worm and other mollusks of the same family bore their way 
into the rocks and timbers which they penetrate. As regards the 
Pholades, for instance, Mr. Robertson, who kept these animals alive in 
their chalky burrows, and studied their habits with the closest atten- 
tion, found that when burrowing they make a half-revolution of their 
shell to the right, and then back to the left, after the manner of a car- 
penter using a brad-awl. The Pholas is a bivalve, club-shaped, and 
the outer surface of its shell is covered with small teeth in curves, and 
resembling the face of a rasp. These teeth would naturally seem well 
suited for the purpose of boring, yet all naturalists are not agreed on 
this point. Tims, some hold that the animal secretes an acid sol- 
vent, which causes the material in which it is burrowing to decay. 
Then only is it that, securing itself with its sucker-like foot, it works 
itself from right to left, and vice versa, to widen the passage. But 
Mr. Gwynn Jeffreys, as stated in the December number of The Popu- 
lar Science Moxthlt, is of opinion that the foot, which he says is 
charged with siliceous particles, is the true boring apparatus of all the 
conchifera, and acts like the leaden wheel of the lapidary. 

The history of the development of the Teredo is thus given by M. 



de Quatrefages : " The larva, which is at first almost spherical and en- 
tirely covered with vibratile cilia, may be compared to a very minute 
hedgehog, in which every spine acts as a natatory organ. It swims 
in all directions with extreme agility, and this first state continues 

Fig. 1. 

Bock peeforatsd by Pholades. 

about a day and a half. Toward the end of this time the external 
skin bursts, and, after being incrusted with calcareous salts, becomes 
a shell, which is at first oval, then triangular, and at last very nearly 
spherical. While the shell is being formed, the vibratile cilia disap- 
pear, but the little animal is not on that account condemned to inac- 
tivity. In proportion as the external cilia diminish, we observe that an- 
other equally ciliated organ becomes developed, which widens and ex- 
tends in such a manner as to form a lame collar or ruff margined with 
fringes. This new organ of locomotion may be entirely concealed 
within the shell, or may be extended from it, and acts in the manner 
of the paddle-wheel of a steamboat. 

" By means of this apparatus the young larva continues to swim 
with as much facility as in its earlier age ; but it now, moreover, ac- 
quires another organ, a sort of fleshy foot, which can be extended and 
contracted at will. It has also organs of hearing similar to those of 
several mollusks, and eyes analogous to those of certain annelids." 
The last metamorphosis is when the Teredo takes its worm-shape, and 
is ready to commence its boring operations. 

The Teredo is supposed to have been originally a native of tropical 


or semitropical seas, though now it is found in high latitudes. It does 
not appear to have been known to the Greeks or Romans, or at least 
its ravages in ancient times could not have been very great, else the 
unsheathed hulls of Greek and Roman vessels would have been per- 
forated. The Pholas penetrates stone as well as wood, but the Teredo 
loves most to burrow into timber. 

The damage done to submerged timbers by the Teredo is enormous. 

Fig. 2. 

Ttmbkr honey-combed by the Teredo. 

It once threatened the dikes of Holland with destruction. A portion 
of the pier at Yarmouth was so honey-combed with perforations that 
it might easily be crushed between the hands as though it were paper, 
the partition between the various tubes being in many places as thin 
as parchment. A piece broken off this pier, and measuring about 7 by 
11 inches, weighed less than four ounces, including the shelly lining of 
the tubes. In the space of 40 days a piece of deal was fairly riddled 
by these borers, and Wood, in his " Natural History," gives an instance 
of their attacking a floating block of oak. This block had a large iron 
bolt passing through its centre, the rusting of which preserved the 
timber for a small space all around from the attacks of the borers. 
But all the block not so protected was honey-combed. 

The Ship-worm always makes its perforations in the direction of the 
grain of the timber, except where a knot, or the shell of another Teredo, 
or hindrance of any kind is met with, and then it takes a turn accord- 
ing to circumstances. The animal begins to bore long before it has 
reached its full size, and it grows within the cavity which it makes. 
When taken out of the tube the Ship-worm is found to be a long, 
grayish-white animal, about one foot long and half an inch thick, with 
rounded head and forked tail. The Giant Teredo of Sumatra attains 
the length of six feet, and a diameter of three inches. This animal, 
however, differs from the Ship-worm in this, that it does not penetrate 
timber, but only burrows into the hardened mud of the sea-bed. 

The use of copper-sheathing to protect ships from the Ship-worm is 
so well known that it need but be simply referred to here. It is not 
perhaps so generally known that, if timber be driven full of iron nails, 
the same object is attained. Another method of protecting wood- 


work consists in forcing into its pores a solution of corrosive sublimate. 
The only objection to this method is its great cost. Quatrefages, how- 
ever, asserts that one twenty-millionth part of corrosive sublimate is 
enough to destroy all the young Ship-worms in two hours. He, there- 
fore, proposes that ships should be cleared of this fearful pest by 
being taken into a closed dock, into which a few handfuls of corrosive 
sublimate should be thrown and well mixed with the water. The salts 
of copper and lead have a similar effect, but do not act so instan- 

The Teredo does not perforate rock, but the Pholas acts an impor- 
tant part in bi'inging about geological changes, owing to his habit of 
boring rocks. There is no doubt that the chalk-cliffs of England are 
first tunnelled by the Pholades, and then gradually destroyed by the 
waves of the sea. 

Of the Date-shell, another very interesting borer, Wood gives the 
following account : " It is truly a wonderful little shell. Some of the 
hardest stones and stoutest shells are found pierced by hundreds of 
these curious beings, which seem to have one prevailing instinct, 
namely, to bore their way through every thing. Onward, ever on- 
ward, seems to be the law of their existence, and most thoroughly do 
they carry it out. They care little for obstacles, and, if one of their 
own kind happens to cross their path, they quietly proceed with their 
work, and drive their tunnel completely through the body of their 

Of the Saxicava rugosa, another borer, "Wood gives this descrip- 
tion : " It is a fiattish bivalve, symmetrical in shape when young, 
but oblong when old. It burrows as rapidly as the Lithodomus, and 
into rock of adamantine density. Sometimes it bores into corals, fre- 
quently into limestone, and often into shells, which it penetrates as 
deeply as the Date-shell. Some of the enormous stones employed in 
building the Plymouth Breakwater are now much wasted by the holes 
made in them by the Saxicava.'''' Like the Date-shell, too, this animal 
runs its tunnels at every angle, and turns out of its course for no con- 
sideration whatever. 

The Razor-shell makes a burrow in the sand, and there lives with its 
siphon, or recurved food-tube, appearing just above the mouth of the 
burrow. It may often be seen " spouting," or sending forth small jets 
of water from its hiding-place in the sand after the tide has retreated. 
On examining the spot cautiously for the creature is somewhat shy 
two round holes in the sand, answering to the two fringed openings 
of the Razor-shell's siphon, will be seen, resembling a key-hole, and 
each large enough to admit a common goose-quill. But, if the animal 
be approached rudely, or if the finger be placed on the openings, the 
mollusk disappears deep in the burrow. The Razor-shell is possessed 
of a very muscular " foot," as it is called, but it might as well be 
named a hand or a tongue. By means of this organ, which they 



elongate or contract at pleasure, the animals are enabled to burrow 
and to go " up and down stairs " with great rapidity. It requires 
dexterous management to capture the Razor-shell alive. When they 
are wanted for food or for bait, the usual plan is to shoot into the sand, 
alongside of a " spout," a hooked iron rod, which must be at once 
pulled out again obliquely, so as to fetch the shell. 

A better way is to drop a little salt on its tail, or at least on its 
siphon-orifices. If this be done, the animal will rise partly out of its 
burrow for it hates undiluted chloride of sodium and may then be 
captured, if you be quick. But, if you should fail to seize the creature 
at the first attempt, in vain would you pour salt in the burrow ; the 
mollusk now sees the artifice, and is not to be imposed upon a second 

The Asperc/illum, or Watering-pot Shell, derives its name from its 
perforated disk, which much resembles the snout of a watering-pot. This 
animal burrows into sand or bores into stone, wood, or thick shells. 

Fm. S. 


When in its burrow, its narrow end, containing the openings of its 
siphon, protrudes. To the same group belongs the Flask-shell, which 
perforates shells of every kind, attaching them to itself by means of 
some natural cement. It thus often constructs around itself a casing 
like a flask, and hence its name. 

We will close this notice of the Borers of the Sea with some ac- 
count of the Mya arenaria, or Gaper-shell, which burrows into sand, 
and which derives its name, gaper, from the fact that its bivalve-shell 
gapes, to allow its long, stout tube to protrude. " It inhabits sandy 
and muddy shores," says Wood, " and, to an inexperienced eye, is 
quite invisible. The shell itself, together with the actual body of the 
mollusk, is hidden deeply in the mud, seldom less than three inches, 
and generally eleven or twelve inches from the surface. In this posi- 
tion it would be unable to respire were it not for the elongated tube, 
which projects through the mud into the water, and just permits the 
extremities of the siphons to show themselves, surrounded by the 
little radiating tentacles which betray them to the experienced shell- 





ON more than one occasion I have maintained that intellectual 
ability is transmitted by inheritance ; and, in a memoir published 
last year in the " Proceedings of the Royal Society," I endeavored to 
explain what ought to be understood by that word " inheritance." 
Two points were especially urged ; the first, that each personality 
originates in a small selection out of a large batch of wonderfully 
varied elements, which were all latent and competing ; and, secondly, 
that these batches, and not the persons derived from them, form the 
principal successive stages in the line of direct descent. Hence fol- 
lows the paradoxical conclusion that the child must not be looked 
upon as directly descended from his own parents. His true relation 
to them is both circuitous and complicated, but admits of being easily 
expressed by an illustration. Suppose an independant nation, A, to 
have been formed by colonists from two other similarly constituted 
nations, B and C ; then the relation borne by the representative 
government of A to that of B and of C is approximately similar to 
what I suppose to be the relation of a child to each of his parents. 
But the existence of a slender strain of direct descent is shown by the 
fact of acquired habits being occasionally transmitted. We must 
therefore amend our simile by supposing the members of the govern- 
ments of B and C to have the privilege of making emigration easy and 
profitable to their constituents, and also, perhaps, the governments 
themselves to have the power of nominating a few individuals to seats 
in the Legislative Council of A. 

It appears to me of the highest importance, in discussing heredi- 
ty, to bear the character of this devious and imperfect connection 
distinctly in mind. It shows what results we may and may not 
expect. For instance, if B and C contain a large variety of social 
elements, it would be impossible, without a very accurate knowledge 
of them and of the conditions of selection, to predict the characters of 
their future governments. Still less would it be possible to predict 
that of A. But if the social elements of B and C were alike, and in 
each case simple, such as might be found in pastoral tribes, then the 
character of their governments and that of A could be predicted with 
some certainty. The former supposition illustrates what must occur 
when the breed of the parents is mongrel ; the latter, when it is pure. 
Now, no wild or domestic animal is so mongrel as man, especially as 
regards his mental faculties ; therefore, w r e cannot expect to find an 
invariable resemblance between the faculties of children and those of 

VOL. III. 5 


their parents. All that could be expected on the hypothesis of strict 
inheritance we do find ; that is, occasional startling resemblances, and 
much more frequently partial ones. From this we have a right to 
argue that if the breed of men were more pure, the intellectual resem- 
blance of child to parent would be as strict as in the forms of the 
equally pure breeds of our domestic animals. 

I propose to refer in this article to a volume written by M. de Can- 
dolle, 1 son of the late famous botanist, and himself a botanist, and 
scientific man of high reputation, in which my name is frequently 
referred to and used as a foil to set off his own conclusions. The 
author maintains that minute intellectual peculiarities do not go by 
descent, and that I have overstated the influence of heredity, since 
social causes, which he analyzes in a most instructive manner, are 
much more important. This may or may not be the case ; but I am 
anxious to point out that the author contradicts himself, and that 
expressions continually escape from his pen at variance with his gen- 
eral conclusions. Thus he allows (p. 195) that, in the production of 
men of the highest scientific rank, the influence of race is superior to 
all others ("prime les autres en importance ") ; that (p. 268) there is a 
yet greater difference between families of the same race than between 
the races themselves ; and that (p. 326), since most, and probably all, 
mental qualities are connected with structure, and as the latter is cer- 
tainly inherited, the former must be so as well. Consequently, I pro- 
pose to consider M. de Candolle as having been my ally against his 
will, notwithstanding all he may have said to the contrary. 

The most valuable part of his investigation is this : What are the 
social conditions most likely to produce scientific investigators, irre- 
spective of natural ability, and a fortiori, irrespective of theories of 
heredity ? This is, necessarily, a one-sided inquiry, just as an inquiry 
would be that treated of natural gifts alone. But, for all that, it 
admits of being complete in itself, because it is based on statistics 
which afford well-known means of disentangling the effect of one out 
of many groups of contemporaneous influences. The author, however, 
continually trespasses on hereditary questions, without, as it appears 
to me, any adequate basis of fact, since he has collected next to noth- 
ing about the relatives of the people upon whom all his statistics are 
founded. The book is also so unfortunately deficient in method, that 
the author's views on any point have to be sought for in passages 
variously scattered ; but it is full of original and suggestive ideas, 
which deserve to have been somewhat more precisely thought out and 
much more compendiously stated. 

Its scheme is, to analyze the conditions of social and political life 
under which the principal men of science were severally living at the 

1 " Histoire des Sciences el des Savants depuis deux Siecks." Par Alphonse de Candolle 
(Membre Corr. de l'Acad. Sciences, Paris; Foreign Member, Royal Soc, etc.). Geneva, 


four epochs 1750, 1789, 1829, and 1869. The list of names upon which 
he depends is that of the foreign members of the three great scientific 
societies of Europe namely, the French Academy, the Royal Society, 
and the Academy of Berlin in each case about fifty in number. 
There is a yet stricter selection on the part of the foreign associates 
of the French Academy, who number only eight at a time, and of 
whom there have been only ninety-two 1 in the last two hundred years. 
It is remarkable that we find in this very select list four cases of father 
and son namely, a Bernoulli and two of his sons, the two Eulers, and 
the two Herschels. 

From an examination of these lists the author draws a large vari- 
ety of interesting deductions. He traces the nationalities and the 
geographical distribution of the distinguished men of science, and com- 
pares the social conditions under which they lived. He finds them to 
be confined to a triangular slice of Europe, of which middle Italy 
forms the blunt apex, and a line connecting Sweden and Scotland 
forms the base : and then he shows that, out of a list of eighteen differ- 
ent influences favorable to science, such as liberty of publication, 
tolerant church, and temperate climate, a large majority were found in 
the triangular space in question, and there alone. The different 
nations vary at the different epochs in their scientific productiveness ;. 2 
and he elaborately shows how closely the variation depends on some 

1 List of the ninety-two foreign associates of the French Academy (three names of no 
scientific importance having been omitted, who were elected in early days these are : 
Lord Pembroke, 1710 ; Due d'Escalone, 1715 ; and Prince Lcewenstein-Wertheim, 1766). 
The names are arranged in the order of their election, and a dash ( ) divides those 
elected before and after the year 1800 : 

Denmark: None. CErsted. 

England: Newton, Sloane (Sir Hans), Halley, Folkes, Bradley, Ilales, Macclesfield 
(Earl), Morton (Earl), Pringle, Hunter, Priestlpy, Banks, Black. Maskelyne, 
Cavendish, Jenner, Watt, Davy, Wollaston, Young, Dalton, Brown (Robert), 
Faraday, Brewster, Herschel (Sir John), Owen, Murchison. 

Germany (Ancient Confederation) : Rcemer, Leibnitz, Tchirnhausen (de), Wolff, 
Margraff, Herschel (Sir William). Pallas, Klaproth, Humboldt (de), Werner, 
Gauss, Olbers, Blumenbach, Buch (de), Bessel, Jacobi, Tiedemann, Mitscherlik, 
Lcjeunc-Dirichlet, Ehrenberg, Liebig, Wohler, Kummer. 

Holland: Huyghens, Hartsoeker, Ruysch, Boerhaave, Van Swieten, Camper. None. 

Italy : Guglielmini, Cassini (Dom), Viviani, Poli, Bianchini, Marsigli, Manfredi, Mor- 
gagni, Cervi, Poleni, La Grange (de). Volta, Scarpa, Piazzi, Plana. 

Poland: Jablonowski. None. 

Russia : Euler (the son). None. 

Sireden : Linnaeus, Bergmann, Wargentin. Berzelius. 

Switzerland : Bernoulli (Jacques), Bernoulli (Jean), De Crousaz, Bernoulli (Daniel), 
Haller (de), Euler (Leonard), Tronchin, Bernoulli (Jean II.), Bonnet (Charles), 
Saussure (Hor. Ben. de). Candolle (Aug. Pyr. de), Rive (de la). 

United States : Franklin. Rumford. 

2 The author's tables of the scientific productiveness per million, of different nations 
at different times, are affected by a serious statistical error. He should have reckoned 
per million of men above fifty, iustead of the population generally In a rapidly-increas- 


or other of the eighteen influences becoming favorable or unfavorable. 
The author, himself descended from the Huguenots, lays just stress on 
the influence of religious refugees, whose traditions were to work in a 
disinterested way for the public good, and at the same time to avoid 
politics. The refugees rarely had their property in land, of which the 
oversight occupies time, but in movable securities ; thus they had 
leisure for work. Then, again, as they were debarred from local poli- 
tics, the ambition, especially of those who had taken refuge in small 
countries, was to earn the approval of the enlightened men all over 
Europe, and this could most easily be effected by doing good work in 
science. Out of the ninety-two foreign associates of the French Acad- 
emy, no less than ten were descended from religious refugees, usually 
in the third or fourth generation. Switzerland had eight out of the 
ten, and we may thence easily gather how enormously she is indebted 
to the infusion of immigrant blood. Similarly, the only two American 
associates Franklin and Rumford were descended from Puritans. 

The blighting effect of dogmatism upon scientific investigation is 
shown both in Catholic and Protestant countries. The Catholics are 
the more dogmatic of the two, and they supply, in proportion to their 
population, less than one-quarter as many of the foremost scientific 
men as the Protestants. There is not a single English or Irish Catho- 
lic among the ninety-two French foreign associates. Austria contrib- 
utes no name, and the rest of Catholic Germany is almost barren. 
In Switzerland, the scientific productiveness of the Catholics is only 
j that of the Protestants. Again, the Catholic missionaries have 
done nothing for science, notwithstanding their splendid opportuni- 
ties. In past days, when they were absolute masters of vast countries, 
as Paraguay and the Philippines, the smallest encouragement and in- 
struction given at the college of the Propaganda to young and apt 
missionaries -would have enriched Rome with collections of natural 
history. If any city more than others deserved to have the finest bo- 
tanical garden and richest herbarium, it is Rome ; but she has scarce- 
ly any thing to show. 

The most notable instance of the repressive force of Protestant 
dogmatism is to be found in the history of the republic of Geneva. 
During nearly 200 years (1535 to 1725) its laity as well as clergy were 
absolutely subject to the principles of the early Reformers. Instruc- 
tion was imposed on them ; nearly every citizen was made to pass 
through the college, and many attended special courses at the Acad- 
emy, yet, during the whole of that period, not a single Genevese dis- 
tinguished himself in science. Then occurred the wane of the Calvin- 
ist authority, between 1720 and 1735. Social life and education be- 
ing country like England, the proportion of the youthful population to those of an age 
sufficient to enable them to become distinguished is double what it is in Franco, where 
population is stationary; and injustice may be done by these tables to England in some- 
thing like that proportion. They require entire reconstruction. 


came penetrated with liberal ideas ; ' and, since IV 30, the date of the 
first election of a Genevese to an important foreign scientific society 
our own Royal Society Geneva has never ceased to produce 'mathe- 
maticians, physicists, and naturalists, in a number wholly out of pro- 
portion to her small population. 

The author arsrues from these and similar cases that it is not so 
much the character of the dogma taught that is blighting to science 
as the dogmatic habit in education. It is the evil custom of continu- 
ally telling young people that it is improper to occupy their minds 
about such and such things, and to be curious, that makes them timid 
and indifferent. Curiosity about realities, not about fictions of the im- 
agination, is the motive power of scientific discovery, and it must be 
backed up by a frank and fearless spirit. M. de Candolle, in spite of 
his anti-heredity declarations, enunciates an advanced pro-heredity 
opinion well worthy of note. He says it is known that birds original- 
ly tame, when found on a desolate island, soon acquire a fear of man, 
and transmit that fear as an instinctive habit to their descendants. 
Hence, we might expect a population, reared for many generations 
under a dogmatic creed, to become congenitally indisposed to look 
truth in the face, and to be timid in intellectual inquiry. 

Can, then, religion and science march in harmony ? It is true that 
their methods are very different ; the religious man is attached by his 
heart to his religion, and cannot endure to hear its truth discussed, 
and he fears scientific discoveries which might, in some slight way, 
discredit what he holds more important than all the rest. The scien- 
tific man seeks truth regardless of consequences ; he balances proba- 
bilities, and inclines temporarily to that opinion which has most prob- 
abilities in its favor, ready to abandon it the moment the balance 
shifts, and the evidence in favor of a new hypothesis may prevail. 
These, indeed, are radical differences, but the two characters have one 
powerful element in common. Neither the religious nor the scientific 
man will consent to sacrifice his opinions to material gain, to political 
ends, nor to pleasure. Both agree in the love of intellectual pursuits, 
and in the practice of a simple, regular, and laborious life, and both 
work in a disinterested way for the public good. A strong evidence 
of this fundamental agreement is found in the number of sons of 
clergymen who have distinguished themselves as scientific investiga- 
tors ; it is so large that we must deplore the void in the ranks of sci- 
ence caused by the celibacy of the Catholic clergy. If Protestant min- 
isters, like them, had never married, Berzelius, Euler, Linnaeus, and 
"Wollaston, would never have been born. But to revert to what we 
were speaking about. There are some six different objects in the pur- 

1 In 1*735, public opinion had become so tolerant that it was enacted that candidates 
for the ministry should no longer be required to make a declaration of faith, but simply 
to promise to teach and preach conformably to the Bible and to the light of their own 
consciences (p. 2C4). 


suit of which most men spend their energies : three of them refer to 
self namely, property, pleasure, and political advancement ; the other 
three imply devotion to ideas namely, religion, science, and art. 
Without a doubt, as M. de Candolle says, the former three occupy 
one half of the moral sphere of the human character, and the latter 
three the other. 

It appears that the men distinguished in science have usually been 
born in small towns, and educated by imperfect teachers, who made 
the boys think for themselves. Nothing is brought out more clearly 
in the work than that the first desideratum in scientific education is 
to stimulate curiosity and the observation of real things, and that too 
much encouragement of the receptive faculty is a serious error. The 
author justly laments that the art of observation is not only untaught, 
but is actually discouraged by modern education. Children are apt 
and eager to observe, but, instead of encouraging and regulating their 
instincts, the school-masters keep them occupied solely on internal 
ideas, such as grammar, the vocabularies of different languages, arith- 
metic, history, and poetry. They learn about the living world which 
surrounds them out of books, and not through their own eyes. One 
of the reformations he proposes is, to make much more use of drawing 
as a means of careful observation, compelling the pupils to draw quickly 
the object they have to describe, from memory, after a short period 
allowed for its examination. He is a strong advocate for the encour- 
agement of a class of scientific sinecurists like the non-working fellows 
of our colleges, who should have leisure to investigate, and not be 
pestered by the petty mechanical work of continual teaching and ex- 
amining. Science has lost much by the suppression of the ecclesias- 
tical sinecures at the time of the French Revolution, for there used to 
be many abbes on the lists of foreign scientific members, but they 
have now almost wholly disappeared. The modern ideas of democracy 
are adverse to places to which definite work is not attached, and from 
which definite results do not regularly flow. This principle is a wise 
one for the mass of mankind ; but how utterly misplaced when ap- 
plied to those who have the zeal for investigation, and who work best 
when left quite alone ! 

There is a curious chapter on the probability of English becoming 
the dominant language of the world in fifty or a hundred years, and 
being the one into which the more important scientific publications of 
all nations will, as a matter of course, be translated. It is not only 
that the English-speaking population will outnumber the German and 
the French, as these now outnumber the Dutch and the Swedish, but 
that the language has peculiar merits, through its relationship with 
both the Latin and the Teutonic tongues. It also seems that, in fami- 
lies where German and French are originally spoken, French always 
drives out the German on account of its superior brevity. When peo- 
ple are in a hurry, and want to say something quickly, it is more easi- 


ly said in French than in German. Precisely in the same way English 
heats French. Our sentences don't even require to he finished in order 
to he understood, because the leading ideas come out first ; but, as for 
old-fashioned tongues, their roundabout construction would be perfect- 
ly intolerable. Fancy languages, like Latin and Greek, in which peo- 
ple did not say " yes " or " no." M. de Candolle is very disrespectful 
to classical Latin. He says that one must have gone throuo-h the 
schools not to be impressed by its ridiculous construction. Translate 
an ode of Horace literally to an unlettered artisan, keeping each word 
in its place, and it will produce the effect upon him of a building in 
which the hall-door was up in the third story. It is no longer a pos- 
sible language, even in poetry. 

I have only space for one more of the many subjects touched upon 
in his book that of acquired habits being transmitted hereditarily 
and which has also formed the subject of a recent essay by Dr. Carpen- 
ter. That some acquired habits in dogs are transmitted appears cer- 
tain, but the number is very small, and we have no idea of the cause 
of their limitation. "With man they are fewer still ; indeed, it is diffi- 
cult to point out any one, to the acceptance of which some objection 
may not be offered. Both M. de Candolle and Dr. Carpenter have 
spoken of the idiocy and other forms of nervous disorder which, be- 
yond all doubt, afflict the children of drunkards. Here, then, appears 
an instance based on thousands of observations at lunatic asylums and 
elsewhere, in which an acquired habit of drunkenness, which ruins the 
will and nerves of the parent, appears to be transmitted hereditarily 
to the child. For my own part, I hesitate in drawing this conclusion, 
because there is a simpler reason. The fluids in an habitual drunkard's 
body, and all the secretions, are tainted with alcohol; consequently 
the unborn child of such a woman must be an habitual drunkard also. 
The unfortunate infant takes its dram by diffusion, and is compulsorily 
intoxicated from its earliest existence. What wonder that its consti- 
tution is ruined, and that it is born with unstrung nerves, or idiotic or 
insane ? And just the same influence might be expected to poison 
the reproductive elements of either sex. I am also informed, but have 
not yet such data as I could wish, that children of recent teetotallers 
who were formerly drunkards are born healthy. If this be really the 
case, it seems to settle the question, and to show that we must not rely 
upon the above-mentioned facts as evidence of a once-acquired habit 
being hereditarily transmitted. Fortnightly JSeview. 




SCIENTIFIC observers have long seen the importance of securing 
a position elevated above the fogs and impurities of the atmos- 
phere at the sea-level, for the purpose of making more accurate astro- 
nomical and meteorological observations. Accordingly, Prof. Peirce, 
the Superintendent of the Coast Survey, petitioned Congress for means 
to carry out such an undertaking. Congress made an appropriation 
of $2,000 for this special object, independent of the geographical and 
topograjmical constants of the station. 

Sherman, in Wyoming, situated on the highest point of the Union 
Pacific Railway, and on the Rocky Mountain range, was agreed upon 
as an eligible and convenient locality for the scene of operations ; and 
the months of June, July, and August, 1872, were devoted to the work. 

The party consisted of General R. D. Cutts, an experienced officer 
of the Coast Survey, who had charge of the expedition, Assistant Mos- 
man, Aid Colonna, Prof. Young, Prof. Emerson, and Mr. Mead, of 
Dartmouth College. There were also a photographer, a mechanician, 
and two servants. The party had, as an escort, about a dozen soldiers 
from Fort Russell, at Cheyenne, who assisted in keeping the hourly 
series of meteorological observations, and were detailed to serve as a 
protection from possible attacks of hostile Indians. 

It Was not until July that the members from Dartmouth College 
were able to join the expedition. The trustees of the college had 
loaned their valuable telescope for the occasion. It has an aperture 
of 9 T 4 g- inches, and a focal length of 12 feet, with clock-work, and the 
usual accompaniments, and is fitted with an automatic spectroscope, 
having a dispersive power of 13 prisms. This telescope is one of the 
best in the countiy in optical perfection, and in convenience and handi- 
ness of mounting. 

The summit of a slight elevation was chosen as an eligible locality 
for occupation. It was a short distance from the railroad-station, and 
about 40 or 50 feet above the track. Three shanties of rough boards 
were erected as observatories, one for the transit instrument, one for 
the meteorological apparatus, and one for the equatorial telescope. 
The altitude of the observatory is 8,300 feet above the level of the 
sea, the latitude a little more than 44, and the longitude about 28 
west from Washington. 

It was thought that Sherman combined unusual facilities for ac- 
complishing the desired object of the expedition, which was to test the 
advantages of a great elevation upon astronomic, and especially spec- 
troscopic, work. The currents, impurities, and reflective power of the 
atmosphere at the sea-level, interfere greatly with studies of this kind, 


while an elevation of 8,000 feet leaves more than a fourth of the atmos- 
phere below it. The situation was one of remarkable natural beauty. 
On the east there was little to mark the altitude except the rocky- 
soil and scanty vegetation ; on the north there were picturesque piles 
of granite ; on the north-west lay the Laramie Hills ; from the north- 
west to the south towered the mountain-peaks, many of them covered 
with perpetual snow. Long's Peak and Gray's Peak were 60 miles 
away at the south ; the great mass of Medicine Bow lay at the west, 
and between them, over the lower ridges, rose some of the high moun- 
tains of the Colorado parks. 

The party being located, and all arrangements for observation be- 
ing made as systematic as possible, work was carried on during the 
summer months in earnest, and attended with valuable results for the 
initiatory movement of a work of such magnitude. The weather proved 
to be unusually unfavorable. An old trapper, who had lived among 
the mountains for twenty years, said that the amount of cloudy and 
rainy weather was uncommon for the season. With the exception of 
a week, when every night and a gi*eater part of ever day were fine, 
clear nights were rare, and clear days less so. There were but two af- 
ternoons when work upon the sun could be kept up from noon till sun- 
set, though there were more than twenty cloudless mornings during 
the same time. The enormous snow-fall of the preceding winter ac- 
counted for the unusual weather-condition of the locality, and the 
snow, in the middle of July, was still lying to the depths of eight feet 
on the plateau at the base of the Medicine Bow Mount. 

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, valuable scientific results were 
obtained in five different departments of observation, geographical, 
meteorological, telescopic, spectroscopic, and magnetic. 

The geographical position of the station was completely deter- 
mined, its longitude being obtained by telegraphic communication 
with Salt Lake City. It will, therefore, be for the future a reference- 
point and base for the numerous surveys which are being made in that 
part of the country. 

A complete hourly meteorological record was obtained for nearly 
the whole of the months of June, July, and August, which, from the 
important position of the station, cannot fail to be of great interest 
and value. 

The telescopic observations were full of promise for the result of 
future and more thorough work in that department. When the sky 
was unclouded the atmosphere possessed the most ethereal transpar- 
ency. At night, myriads of stars invisible at lower elevations were 
plainly discernible. Nearly all the seventh-magnitude stars of the 
British Association Catalogue were clearly visible to the naked eye. 
Prof. Young, to whose report we are indebted for the facts recorded 
in this article, says that, in the quadrilateral forming the bowl of the 
" Dipper," he could see distinctly nine stars, with glimpses of one or 


two more, while at Hanover he could only perceive the three brightest 
of them. The power of the telescope was correspondingly increased, 
so that an instrument of 9 T 4 g- inches of aperture was as effective as one 
with 12 inches at the sea-level. Some views of Saturn were exquis- 
itely beautiful. The inner satellites, the details and markings of the 
rings, especially a dark stripe upon the outer ring, were clearly seen 
under powers ranging from 500 to 1,200. Besides the increase of 
the range of the instrument, the air was vastly more steady, and faint 
objects much more clearly defined. 

The advantage was still greater in the careful spectroscopic obser- 
vations that were made. Prof. Young had drawn up at Hanover a cat- 
alogue of 103 bright lines in the spectrum of the chromosphere; at 
Sherman the number was extended to 273, while, at moments of un- 
usual solar disturbance, there were glimpses of at least as many more. 
Sulphur, strontium, and cerium, are almost certainly proved to be con- 
stituents of the solar atmosphere, and zinc, erbium, and didymium are 
strongly indicated. It was hoped that at the base of the chromo- 
sphere there might be seen the reversal of the dark lines of the spec- 
trum, which is so wondrously beautiful at the commencement and close 
of a total solar eclipse. But in this hope the observers were disap- 
pointed ; the appearance, at the distance of 1" or 15* from the edge 
of the photosphere, giving a spectrum principally continuous, most of 
the. dark lines vanishing or being much weakened. This result con- 
firms the observations of Secchi, who reports at the edge of the sun a 
layer giving a continuous spectrum. 

Curious observations were made upon the spectra of sun-spots, and 
a catalogue was made of 155 lines more or less affected, either greatly 
widened or weakened, or reversed. A number of bright lines were 
found in the spectrum of the nucleus, and some peculiarly shaded, as 
if they were the product of a combination of elements which, from the 
reduced temperature over the spots, had been "able to exercise their 
chemical affinities. 

Many solar eruptions were watched moving with velocities vary- 
ing from 150 to 250 miles per second, and pouring forth their whirl- 
winds and torrents of ejected gas through the molten atmosphere. 
The most interesting eruption was visible on the surface of the sun 
itself in the vicinity of a large spot. 

The magnetic observations were as satisfactory as any that were 
made, and yet prove that, although our greatest magnetic storms are 
only remotely connected with solar influence, every solar paroxysm 
has a direct and immediate effect upon terrestrial magnetism. On 
the 3d and 5th of August there were violent paroxysms of solar erup- 
tion. At just the minute these eruptions took place, the record of the 
vertical Magnetic Force shows marked and sudden magnetic impulses, 
a peculiar shuddering of the magnetic needle for that very time. The 
photographic copies of the vertical Force Curve at Greenwich and 


Stonyhurst show marked and characteristic disturbances at the corre- 
sponding points, which, allowing for the difference in longitude, were 
the very moments of time when the solar disturbances were watched 
at Sherman. 

The work of the last summer accomplished by the Sherman Astro- 
nomical Expedition points clearly to the inference that a great national 
observatory should be established without loss of time, in that posi- 
tion on the American Continent most favorable to astronomical obser- 
vation. Sherman is evidently not the place, on account of weather-con- 
ditions, but some mountain-station must be found adapted for the 
purpose, far above the fogs and impurities of the sea-level. A tele- 
scope, the best and largest that scientific resources can furnish, and a 
corps of observers devoted to the work, must be established on this 
permanent locality. Then, from this high point, sun, planets, stars, 
nebulae, comets, and meteors, may be attacked by observers armed 
with the most effectual scientific weapons, until from the depths of 
infinite space come answers to some of the great problems that are 
puzzling the brains of thoughtful students of celestial mysteries. 

A recent writer proposes that the whole civilized world shall con- 
tribute for a telescope which shall cost 81,000,000. Why should not 
America contribute enough from her vast resources to possess the 
most powerful one that can be built, and be the first among the na- 
tions to bring about great results, and make certainties of what seem 
now the shadowy possibilities of the future ? 




EVERY day, every hour, there is going on around us a veritable 
death-struggle. It excites little attention. People would be in 
no hurry to read the telegraphic dispatches concerning it from the seat 
of war, even if there were any to read. Special correspondents there 
are, but their letters are appreciated but by a few. Nevertheless, it 
cannot be said that mankind in general is not interested in the result 
of the struggle. On the contrary, little as the affair is heeded, it is of 
very serious import to the human race. Our food-supplies depend on 
it ; the well-being of our flocks and herds is essentially dependent on 
it ; the building of our houses, the fabrication of our raiment, are to a 
large extent contingent on it ; nay, the soil beneath our feet, and the 
very sky above our heads, are materially, very materially, influenced 
by the result of the contest of which we are about to speak. Edward 
Forbes was wont to say that the movement of a periwinkle over a rock 
might be of greater consequence to the human race than the progress 


of an Alexander; and the results of the wars of the plants are as- 
suredly of no less importance, seeing that the very existence of an 
Alexander depends in no slight degree upon them. The campaigns 
we speak of are real; they are not mental figments, or allegorical 
illustrations. Success in the practice of horticulture, of agriculture, of 
forestry, depends on the action we men take toward the combatants. 
If we remain neutral, the weakest goes to the wall, overpowered by 
the stronger ; if we interfere, we exert a very powerful influence for 
the time ; but, immediately we cease to exert our power, the combat 
begins again, and with enhanced violence. The essence of successful 
cultivation often consists almost entirely in the removal of the plant 
from the influence of that hostile " environment " to which, under 
natural circumstances, it would be subjected. It is this that accounts, 
in a great measure, though of course not wholly, for the oft-observed 
fact that certain plants, flowers, and fruits, attain far greater perfec- 
tion in our gardens than they ever do in their native countries. 

That a war of extermination is thus going on around us may strike 
some with surprise. They are so accustomed to associate flowers and 
plants with peace and repose, that they are astonished to find that 
other far less amiable ideas may, with even more justice, be associated 
with them. And yet a moment's reflection, or a passing glance at the 
nearest hedge-row or pasture, will show the reality of the struggle. 
All that beautiful disorder, that apparently careless admixture of 
divers forms and colors the sweeping curves of the brambles, the 
entwining coils of the honeysuckle, the creeping interlacement of the 
ground-ivy or the pennywort all are but indications of the fray that 
is constantly going on. It would seem as if the weakest must suc- 
cumb, must be overpowered by the stronger-growing plants, and so 
they are at certain places and at certain times ; but, under other con- 
ditions, the victory may be with the apparently weaker side, just as 
the slow-going tortoise may outrun the fleeter hare. In any case, the 
success is often only temporary ; the victor becomes in time the van- 
quished; the vanquished, in its turn, regains its former conquest; and 
so on. 

It is proposed in the following notes to give a few illustrations of 
the nature and effects of this conflict, of the way in which it is carried 
on, and of the circumstances which favor it. 

Agriculturists had long been practically conversant with the ad- 
vantages derivable from the practice of not growing the same crop on 
the same soil for too long a period. The advantages consequent on 
this so-called rotation of crops are due to more than one cause ; but it 
was Dureau de la Malle who, in 1825, called attention to the phenome- 
non of natural rotation. From long observation of what takes place 
in woods and pasture-lauds, he established the fact that an alternation 
of growth, as he called it, occurs as a natural phenomenon. In pasture- 
lands, for instance, the grasses get the upper hand at one time, the 


leguminous plants at another ; so that, in the course of thirty years, 
the author whose observations we are citing was witness of five or six 
such alternations. 

It follows from all this that a plant, as was pointed out by the 
late Dean Herbert, does not necessarily grow in the situation best 
adapted for it, but where it can best hold its own against its hos- 
tile neighbors, and best sustain itself against unfavorable conditions 

The sources of success in the contest are manifold ; they vary more 
or less in each individual case. Probably they are never exactly the 
same; nevertheless, there are certain circumstances which must always 
be operative in conducing to the victory. A few illustrations must suf- 
fice. It is easy to understand why first-comers, duly installed, should 
have an advantage over later visitants ; why the more prolific should 
outnumber the less fertile ; and how it is that a perennial plant has a 
better chance on any given spot, center is paribus, than an annual, whose 
progeny would find the ground occupied, and their chances of sur- 
vival materially interfered with by their longer-lived neighbors. 

Again, there is no difficulty in understanding why such plants as 
quitch (Tritlcum repens) or bearbine {Convolvulus sepium) hold their 
own so tenaciously, and so much to the prejudice of their neighbors. 
The long, creeping, underground stems, rooting, or capable of rooting, 
at every joint, give them an immense advantage over plants not so 
favorably organized. The ends of the shoots of the convolvulus, more- 
over, dilate into tubers, which are thrust into the ground, to form in 
the succeeding spring fresh centres of vegetation. A great rooting- 
power is obviously of great benefit ; not less so is an extensive leaf- 
surface. It is not only that the copious feeding-roots absorb the avail- 
able nourishment from the soil, not only that the wide leaf-surface 
avails itself of every ray of sunlight, every whiff of air that plays over 
it, and thus serves to build up the tissues of the plant to which the 
root or leaf respectively belongs, but they practically oust other plants 
less favorably circumstanced than themselves. The roots occupy the 
soil, and rob the weaker plants of their share of its resources. The 
tree with dense foliage shuts off from its lowlier neighbor much of the 
light and air necessary for its existence; and hence, in a measure, the 
absence of vegetation in pine-forests or under the shadow of dense 
woods. Some plants there are specially organized to resist and over- 
come these hostile conditions. Among them are the climbers, the 
twining plants, and those with tendrils of one sort or another. The 
bramble or wild-rose, with its slender, arching, hook-beset branches ; 
the wild-hop, with its coils of cord-like sprays ; the clematis, clinging 
on firmly by means of its leaf-stalks to any thing it can lay hold of; 
the ivy, grappling with the trunk of a tree all these are, in some 
sense, weakly plants ; they would be overweighted in the struggle with 
their stronger neighbors, if it were not for the special adaptation of 


their structure just alluded to, and which enables them to bear their 
part bravely in the conflict. 

It is easy to understand how an alteration of the conditions under 
which plants grow influences veiy materially the struggle we have 
been alluding to. A very slight change in climatal conditions pro- 
duced, for instance, by the growth of sheltering trees, or by the drain- 
age of the soil may be followed by the growth of quite a different set 
of plants from those that occupied the ground previously. The altered 
conditions have been advantageous to the one and disadvantageous to 
the other set of plants. 

As an illustration of the complexity of the checks and relations be- 
tween organic beings struggling together, Darwin mentions the case 
of a barren heath which fell under his observation, part of which was 
left intact, while another portion had been enclosed and planted with 
Scotch fir. The change in the native vegetation of the planted part 
of the heath was most remarkable. " Not only the proportional num- 
bers of the heath-plants were wholly changed, but twelve species of 
plants, not counting grasses and carices, flourished in the plantations, 
which could not be found on the heath." 

This sort of change was pointedly referred to by Dureau de la 
Malle, who relates how, after the felling of the timber in forests of a 
particular district of France, broom, foxglove, heaths, birch-trees, and 
aspens sprang up, replacing the oaks, the beech, and the ash, felled by 
the woodman. After thirty years, the birch and poplars were felled 
in their turn. Still very few of the original possessors of the soil, the 
oaks, etc., made their appearance : the ground was still occupied with 
young birch and poplar. It is not till after the third repetition of the 
coppicing after an interval of ninety years that the oaks and beech 
reconquer their original position. They retain it for a time, and then 
the struggle begins again. 

Antiquarian researches also have proved that, in the natural state 
of things, without any violent change in external conditions, the na- 
ture of forests becomes altered. The Hercynian forests, of which 
Caesar speaks, and which then consisted of deciduous-leaved trees, are 
now made up principally of conifers. A forest which, in the middle 
ages, was of beech, is now stocked with oak, and vice versa. Again, 
we have the evidence afforded by submerged forests and peat-bogs, 
according to which certain plants, now extinct in particular localities, 
once flourished there. We are not alluding to plants that may have 
required a different climate from what they now experience, but to 
such cases as the silver fir, the Scotch fir, Pinus 3fi(ffhus, etc., which 
are found in this partially-fossilized condition in spots where there is 
apparently nothing to prevent them from growing now, where, in fact, 
they do grow well when planted. 

Foresters in all countries are perfectly well aware of these facts, 
and botanists watch with interest the appearance of a different vegeta- 


tion, when some accident has interfered with the previously-existing 
conditions. When woods are cut down, when soil from a depth is 
laid on the surface, when extensive fires occur, when lakes are 
drained; in fact, when any sudden alteration takes place in external 
circumstances, then we may expect to find a corresponding change in 
the vegetation. One set of plants profits by the change, another 
suffers. It may be asked, " Where do the new arrivals come from ? " 
Sometimes, no doubt, the seeds are wafted from a distance, and, find- 
ing a suitable abiding-place, germinate. This is, perhaps, more espe- 
cially the case with the spores of fungi, whose extreme minuteness 
favors their dispersion in this way. But it often happens that the 
facts of the case will not admit of such an interpretation, and then we 
can only fall back on the supposition that the seeds or bulbs existed in 
the soil, but under circumstances not favorable to their development. 

The ground in this way is looked on by Alphonse de Candolle and 
Darwin as a vast magazine of seeds, etc., capable of retaining their 
vitality for a more or loss prolonged period, according to circum- 
stances, and ready to avail themselves of any change that may be 
beneficial to them. That this is so in some places has been proved by 
results, but it seems equally clear that this does not hold good in all 
places. Allusion has already been made to the apparently capricious 
appearance of our British orchids. The downs or the fields that in 
one summer yielded abundance of bee, of fly, or of spider orchids, 
may, in another year, scarcely furnish a single one. The explanation 
of this peculiarity lies in the special organization of the plant, well 
described by Prillieux and other botanists, from whose observations 
it appears that the plants in question naturally pass through several 
stages, which, for our present purpose, it is not necessary to detail, 
and these stages may be prolonged according to circumstances. The 
flowering stage is thus arrived at in one season, while in another all 
the energies of the plant may be taken up in forming tubers and 
leaves. A very remarkable instance of the fact just alluded to was 
communicated to the writer by a competent observer, Mr. George 
Oxenden, of Broom Park, Kent. This gentleman had been acquainted 
with a particular field for some forty years, during which time it had 
been under the plough, but at the expiration of this period it was laid 
down in grass, when the very next year a profusion of bee-orchids was 
observed in it. In this case the time was too short for seeds to have 
germinated and to have progi-essed to the flowering state. There 
seems no other solution than that the tubers must have been in the 
ground some time previously, but that, from the ploughing and 
cropping of the soil, they had not had a fair chsnce of developing 

The facts we have mentioned are, in the main, intelligible enough. 
We can see the why and the wherefore without much difficulty ; but 
it is not so always. For instance, it is difficult to account for the sig- 


nal defeat that native plants often incur at the hands of invading 

Why does the water-cress, harmless enough in our ditches, block 
up the water-courses in New Zealand to such an extent as to become 
a costly nuisance ? What can there be in English ditches and canals 
so propitious to the growth of the American water-weed (Anacharis) 
as to have caused it to obstruct even our navigable rivers ? In Amer- 
ica, whence it came, it is no more of an inconvenience than any other 
water-weed. Why in other places does the white clover (Trifolium 
re})ens) overcome the native grasses, and dispossess them of their ter- 
ritory ? Why has a particular grass, the Stipa tortilus, invaded the 
South-Russian steppes to such an extent as to displace almost every 
other plant ? 

There are numberless such instances from that afforded by the 
island of St. Helena, in which the original vegetation is almost com- 
pletely dispossessed, and its room occupied by foreign importations, 
to the banks of a Surrey river, yellow with the flowers of an American 
balsam and the reason is not obvious. The fact is patent, and is not 
without analogies in the virulence with which epidemic diseases spread 
when introduced for the first time among a population not heretofore 
subjected to them. 

Such cases as these recall the opinions of Humboldt and others on 
the antipathies of plants. According to this notion, certain plants are 
positively injurious to others, not so much by any peculiarity of struct- 
ural organization as by the excretion of matters hurtful to other 
plants. It has been asserted, for instance, that the darnel (Lolium 
temulentum) is injurious to wheat; that a species of thistle (Serratula 
arvensis) is obnoxious to oats ; that a spurge (Euphorbia Peplus) and 
a scabious (Knautia arvensis) are detrimental to flax ; and spurrey 
(Spergula arvensis) similarly prejudicial to buckwheat. 

In so far as this detrimental influence is due to any excrementitious 
product from the plant, the verdict given by modern physiologists 
amounts to " not proven." Some would even say " not guilty ; " but 
we do not see clearly how those who take this view can reconcile 
it entirely with the existence of that natural alteration of which 
Dureau de la Malle speaks, and which is admitted by all subsequent 

Mere exhaustion of the soil Will not account for the phenomena in 
all cases, because a crop will fail on a particular soil after a while, and 
yet chemical analysis of that soil will reveal the fact that the particu- 
lar elements required by a given plant are still contained in sufficient 
abundance in it. Land, for instance, that is " clover-sick " on which, 
that is, good crops of clover cannot be grown is by no means neces- 
sarily deficient in the constituent required for the growth of the plant ; 
and, indeed, in the Rothamsted experiments the constituents in ques- 
tion have been supplied as manure, but without any good result. 


Again, root-excretions (assuming their existence) cannot be produc- 
tive of injury, as we are assured by Dr. Gilbert that clover has been 
grown in the same plot of garden-soil at Rothamsted for eighteen 
years in succession, while only a few hundred yards off no condition 
of manuring has hitherto been successful in restoring the clover-yield- 
ing capabilities of the land. 1 Reverting, however, to the alleged an- 
tipathies of one plant to another, we may make passing mention of the 
eurious circumstance recorded by M. Paul Levi, 8 that the lianas or 
climbing plants of the forests of Central America have their likes and 
dislikes, and that they will not attach themselves to particular trees 
even when brought into juxtaposition with them. It is significent 
that the trees which are thus slighted by the twiners are just such as 
are ill-adapted for the support of such plants, being such as have tall, 
unbranched trunks, with smooth bark and a dense, overhanging, dome- 
like canopy of foliage. It is not only the climbing plants that refuse 
to grow on such trees, but to a less extent, also, the mosses, ferns, 
orchids, Bromeliads, and other epiphytal plants. 

It is obvious, from what has been previously said, that human in- 
terference affects these internecine conflicts of plants very materially. 
It is clear also that the cultivator can very often avail himself of them 
to his own profit. From this point of view the experiments and 
observations carried on at Rothamsted by Mr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert 
are most important, especially those relating to the struggle among 
pasture-plants, and the circumstances favoring certain plants more 
than their fellows. No detailed report of these particular experiments 
has hitherto been published, and only a few scattered notices in the 
Proceedings of the Horticultural Society (June 2, 1868) have appeared 
concerning them. We can, however, give some idea of their scope 
and nature by stating that a part of the park at Rothamsted, which 
has been under grass for centuries, has been divided into plots of 
equal size, placed side by side under conditions as nearly equal as 
possible. Some of these plots have been left unmanured ; others, 
some twenty in number, have, for the last ten or twelve years, been 
subjected to various manures, the constitution and proportions of 
which are accurately determined. The general herbage of the park, 
like that of the unmanured plots, consists of some fifty species of 
plants, including sundry grasses, clovers, docks, umbellifers and other 
plants commonly found in such situations. In the several manured 
plots a change is observable, sometimes slight, at other times vast, 
and the change does not show itself so much in the superior luxuri- 
ance of any one plant, or in the starved condition of another, as it does 
in the more or less complete exclusion of certain plants, and in their 
replacement by others. Thus, while the unmanured plots contain, 
say, fifty species of plants, others comprise less than half that num- 

1 Journal of the Horticultural Society. New Series, vol. iii., p. 91. 

2 Cited in the Gardener's Chronicle, 1870, p. 383. 

vol. in. 6 


ber; from some plots the clovers and umbel lifers are banished alto- 
gether, while in other cases they may be proportionately increased. 
Even among the grasses the competition is very severe, and the result 
in some cases is that all or nearly all have to give way to the cock's- 
foot grass (Dactylu ccespitosa), the growth of which is so fostered by 
certain manures as to cause it to overcome its fellows and remain mas- 
ter of the situation. To the plots to which a mixed mineral manure, 
consisting of salts of potash, soda, magnesia, and lime, is applied, but 
little difference in the number of species is observable. On the other 
hand, manures containing ammonia salts, or nitrates, cause a great 
diminution in the number of species living in the plot to which they 
are applied. While the unmanui-ed plots furnish by weight about 60 
per cent, of grasses, the remainder, consisting of plants of other fami- 
lies, the plots to which admixture of mineral and nitrogenous manures 
is added, contain as much as 95 per cent, of grasses, and these belong- 
ing to a comparatively very few species. Salts of potash and lime, 
which are comparatively inert as regards grasses, manifest their influ- 
ence in increasing the vigor and the absolute numerical proportion of 
the leguminous plants. 

The manner in which these results have been arrived at is worthy 
of a short description in this place. 

Notes are taken at frequent intervals during the season of growth, 
the appearance of the plants noted, their relative luxuriance observed, 
and their comparative tendency to produce flower or stem and leaf, 
the abundance of flowers, etc., etc. Root-growth is studied, and also 
the character of the soil in the various plots, and the way in which 
its texture and its capacity for holding or transmitting water are mod- 
ified according to the manure applied. When the crop is cut from 
each plot, its weight is estimated, and also the amount of dry produce. 
In some cases chemical analysis is pushed further, and the ashes duly 
examined. In addition to these no trifling observations, three " sepa- 
rations " have been carried out at regular intervals. These separa- 
tions consist in the picking out, from a sample of a certain weight 
taken from each plot, every fragment of every species contained in 
the sample. In this way the relative quantity and weight of each of 
the different plants in the several samples are accurately determined, 
and the proportion in the whole plot computed. The labor is enor- 
mous ; but the results, when fully brought out, must be most impor- 
tant, both as regards the scientific aspect of the question, the history 
of the life-struggle between plants so circumstanced, and also as re- 
gards the practical hints to be derived by tie cultivator. 

Some experiments of a somewhat similar character, and bearing 
directly on the struggle for life among plants, have been made by Prof. 
Hoffmann, of Giessen, and they are of such interest that we introduce 
here a veiy condensed account of them, taken from the pages of the 
Gardener's Chronicle, 1870, p. 664 


In a previous set of experiments the Giessen professor had ascer- 
tained that the particular plants under observation grew equally well 
in all the varieties of soil in which they were placed, provided due 
care was taken to prevent the growth of intruding weeds. Having 
arrived at this result, Prof. Hoffmann next left the several plants to 
themselves, with a view of ascertaining how they would comport 
themselves, without assistance, against the inroads of weeds. The re- 
sult was, that the weeds completely gained the upper hand, as might 
have been expected from their known habit. The species which held 
out longest was Asperula cynanchica. This plant, after having been 
grown in a bed for three years, and protected from weed-invasion by 
the use of the hoe, was then left to take care of itself. It held out for 
four years, but was ultimately elbowed out by the intruders. Acting 
on the principle of " set a rogue to catch a rogue," Prof. Hoffmann 
then set himself to observe the results of the internecine struggle 
between the weeds themselves, thinking that the ultimate survivors 
would perhaps prove to have special affinities for the soil in which 
they grew. 

Thus left to themselves, the beds became so densely covered, that, 
in a square foot, the professor counted 460 living plants, and the rem- 
nants of many others, which had succumbed in the encounter. Every 
year, in July, the plots were examined, and every year the number of 
species was found to have diminished. Melilots, at first abundant, 
gradually disappeared ; Artemisia vulgaris succumbed after two or 
three years ; and so on, till at length only a few species were left, and 
these not only persisted, but slowly gained ground from year to year, 
and ultimately remained in possession of the plot. The plots under 
observation were 2 metres 30 cents, long, 1 metre broad, and all as 
nearly as possible under the same conditions, save that the soil was 
varied, in some cases consisting of the ordinary soil of the garden, in 
others of an admixture of lime, in others of sand, or of sand and lime, 
and so forth. 

Of the 107 species under observation, all, or nearly all, found the 
most essential requisites of their existence equally well in all the vari- 
eties of soil ; so that, other conditions being equal, the nature of the 
soil was indifferent. The species which remained victors, all the 
others being ultimately dispossessed, were Tritieum repens (couch), 
Poa prate?isis, Potentilla reptans, Acer Pseado Platanus (sycamore), 
Cornus sanguinea, native plants ; and Aster salignits, A. parviflorus, 
.Euphorbia virgata, and Prunus Padus, derived from other portions 
of the garden. 

It may, therefore, be inferred that the district in which these ex- 
periments were made would, in process of time, if no obstacle were 
afforded, become covered with meadows and woods meadows in the 
low ground and woods in elevated places. Again, the experiments 
show that the survival of certain plants has not been influenced by the 


nature of the soil ; thus the couch-grass was ultimately spread over 
all the plots, whether of sand, or of loam, or of lime, whether drained 
or undrained. So also with Poa pratensis and Potentilla reptans. So 
that the chemical and physical nature of the soil, as has been so often 
shown in similar investigations, plays only a secondary part. 

As to the action of shade, it was found by Prof. Hoffmann that low- 
growing plants, especially if annuals, disappeared rapidly, while taller- 
growing plants, such as couch, Prunus Paclus, etc., survived. The 
survival of certain plants, then couch, Aster, Potentilla, etc. is due 
much less to external conditions than to the " habit " of the plant it- 
self ; that is to say, to the facility the plant has of adapting itself to 
varying external conditions, and thus of triumphing over others less 
favorably endowed in this wise. 

The immediate source of victory lies in the powerful root-growth 
Of the survivors, including under the general term " root " not only 
the root proper, but the offshoots and runners which are given off just 
below, or on the surface of the ground. Indeed, the latter habit of 
growth is more advantageous to plants in such a struggle than the de- 
velopment of the true root downward would be. Among those plants 
where the roots were equally developed there were, nevertheless, ine- 
qualities of growth, dependent, probably, on the greater need for light 
in some species than in others, etc. 

It is clear from Prof. Hoffmann's experiments that, but for the con- 
tinual use of the hoe, and the diligent extirpation of the weeds in our 
fields, the stronger-growing ones would not only destroy our crops, 
but also other weeds less vigorous than themselves. But they are not 
sufficient to explain all the conditions of this complicated problem ; as 
is shown by the fact that, in the district adjoining the locality where 
Prof. Hoffmann's experiments were carried on, the predominant plants 
are not the same as those which ultimately proved victors in the ex- 
perimental beds. 

We may add that for two years a series of observations was car- 
ried on in the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society, at Chiswick, 
with a view to ascertain how certain selected plants, twelve in num- 
ber, and naturally growing in pastures, would be affected when grow- 
ing by themselves, by the addition of manures of five , different de- 
scriptions, and similar to those used at Rothamsted. In some cases the 
results of these experiments were unsatisfactory, from circumstances 
that need not be detailed here ; still a large body of facts was ac- 
cumulated, and, with reference to the property by which certain plants 
prove victorious in the struggle for life, it was clear that the natural 
habit or organization of the plant was, cceteris paribus, the mainspring 
of its success over its competitors. The several manures intensified or 
deteriorated this peculiar organization, as the case might be, and thus 
favored or impeded its growth accordingly. Popular Science Review. 




ON the 5th of November, 1604, two hundred and sixty-eight years 
ago, the whole of London was in a state of commotion at hearing 
of the discovery of " Guy Fawkes" sitting ina cellar under the Houses 
of Parliament, on a powder-barrel, with a match in his hand, his inten- 
tion being to blow up James I. and the House of Lords. 

On the 5th of November, 1872, London was again put in a state of 
commotion by the appearance of another " Guy Fawkes ; " this time, 
however, not in the cellar under the Houses of Parliament, but in the 
straw by the side of his mother in her den at the Zoological Gardens. 
In the engraving on page 86, you can now, kind reader, see the portrait 
of this celebrated animal, " Guy Fawkes," so called on account of the 
date of his birth. The father hippopotamus came over here in the year 
1851, and was accompanied in his journey by the well-known captain 
of the " Rob Roy Canoe," who happened to be a fellow-passenger in 
the steamer with him. The female hippopotamus was sent over to 
England, by my friend Consul Petherick, at a later date. From these 
parents three young ones have been born at the Zoological Gardens ; 
unfortunately, two of these interesting infants died. I made two casts 
of the first Baby Hippo : one cast is in the giraffe-house at the Zoologi- 
cal Gardens, the other is in my Fish Museum at South Kensington. 
The first two young ones remained by the head of the mother, evidently 
not knowing where the udder was. Mr. Bartlett, the talented and 
ever-obliging superintendent of the Zoological Gardens, tells me that, 
before these two hippopotami were born, the people at Paris and 
Amsterdam had written to him to advise him " never, on any account, 
to let the baby hippopotamus go into the water." He took their ad- 
vice on the former occasions, but at the birth of " Guy Fawkes" he 
was determined to try the very reverse plan. He therefore allowed 
the young one to accompany its mother into the big bath. It is to 
Mr. Bartlett that must be ascribed the honor of the discovery that the 
young hippopotamus certainly sucks under water. It would seem, 
therefore, that the young hippopotamus has some peculiar anatomical 
structure which enables it to remain a much longer time under water 
than its parents. 

A few days after the birth of the young one, Mr. Bartlett was 
watching it swimming about the tank. It then suddenly dived, but 
did not reappear for such a long time that he thought it had had a 
fit, and was lying drowned at the bottom of the tank. He therefore 
made arrangements to have the large plug pulled out this plug had 
been fixed expressly for this purpose and lo run off the tank quickly, 
so as to resuscitate the little beast if possible. They were just going 



to do this, when Muster " Guy Fuwkes " suddenly reappeared, shaking 
liis funny little horsedike ears, from the bottom of his tank, with a 
hippopotamic grin on his face, as much as to say, "Don't be fright- 
ened, I am all right; you don't know all about me yet ! " The little 
beast had remained, without blowing or taking breath, actually under 
water for nearly twenty minutes. The parents have never been known 
to be under much over three minutes. I suspect Nature has given this 


wonderful power of remaining so long under water to the young hip- 
popotamus, first of all, to enable it to suck when the water has been 
clear, Mr. Bartlett has frequently seen it sucking under water and, 
secondly, in order that it may be concealed from its enemies, though 
I am not at all certain but that a large crocodile would seize and 
swallow a young hippopotamus as a jack would swallow a roach. 

Master Guy Fawkes, nevertheless, had one day a narrow escape 
of his life. In order to clean out the tank, one fine sunny morning the 
mother and child were let out into the pond outside. They both re- 
mained in the water as long as it suited them, and then the mother 
walked out with that peculiar stately gait which distinguishes this 
gigantic animal. The little one attempted to follow, but, unfortunate- 
ly, he chose a landing-place at the corner nearest the giraffes' enclosure, 
just at the very point where there were no steps. The poor little fel- 
low struggled and fought hard to get out, but could not, tailing back 
exhausted into the water. His mother, seeing the distress of her 
child, immediately went back into the water, and, diving down, 
brought him up from the bottom. She then supported his head above 
water, in order to give him time to breathe. For nearly half an hour 
Mr. Bartlett and the keepers were in agonies. Of course, they dare 
not go to help Guy Fawkes, and there was no form of life-buoy they 
could throw to the struggling creature. At last the young one made 
a more vigorous effort than ever, when simultaneously the old >ue 
gave him a push with her tremendous head, and the little animal's life 
was thus saved. So we see that the hippopotamus is no fool ; her in- 
stinct mind, rather told her how to save her young one. 

It would be superfluous in me to attempt to describe this little ani- 
mal, because every one ought to go and see it. It is about the size 
and shape of an ordinary bacon pig, but the color is something of a 
pinkish-slate. He knows his keeper very well : and when he has had 
his dinner is as playful as a kitten, popping and jumping about his 
den, and throwing up mouthfuls of hay, like a young calf. When first 
born he was small enough to come through the bars on to the straw 
outside his den, but soon he had grown so much that he could not get 
through. He used to put his head through the bars, and allow Pres- 
cott, the keeper, to rub his gums. The tusks of the lower-jaw were 
just beginning to cut the gum. His back teeth have not come yet ; 
but they are obliged to be very careful about his diet, for he has al- 
ready (when I write, in January) begun to pick a bit at the food pre- 
pared for him. I am pleased to be able to record that the council oi 
the Zoological Society so fully appreciate Mr. Bartlett's cleverness in 
rearing this little beast, that they have voted him a silver medal and a 
purse, with a check in it. Prescott and the other keeper have also 
received a silver medal and a douceur from the society. 

I now proceed to make some general remarks about hippopotami. 

The hippopotamus is of some value commercially. The skin is 


made by the natives into whips, which, I believe, are used to beat 
delinquents in Egypt ; and I am told that they are exceedingly for- 
midable weapons. To make the whip, the skin is cut into triangular 
slips, about five or six feet long, one end being pointed, the other 
broad ; it is then coiled upon itself, and afterward dried in the sun, 
and, when finished, is light, dry, and elastic. The teeth of the hippo- 
potamus are also of commercial value. Their structure is very pecul- 
iar. I have a tooth now before ; it is hollow at one end, like the tusk 
of an elephant. When the animal was alive, this hollow was filled 
with soft pulp. The tooth is always growing forward as the pulp 
solidifies behind. The reader can easily see how this is, by examining 
the front tooth of the lower jaw of the next boiled rabbit he has for 
dinner. The outside of the tooth of the hippo is formed of a glass- 
like, hard enamel; it is exceedingly dense, hard, and flint-like. I have 
just taken down my old regimental sword, and find that, by striking 
it at the proper angle, a shower of sparks fly away from the tooth, like 
the sparks from a boy's " fire-devil " made in form of a pyramid with 
wet gunpowder. The teeth of the hippopotami, as in the rabbit, are 
sometimes liable to deformity. In the College of Surgeons there is 
the tooth of a hippopotamus which has grown nearly into the form of 
a circle. These teeth are, I believe, much sought after by dentists 
for making artificial teeth; and when a piece can be had of such a 
loi. i as that the teeth can be worked in enamel, they preserve their 
color almost as in the natural teeth. The price of hippopotami-teeth 
is about thirty shillings a pound. Artificial teeth are also made from 
the tusks of the walrus, the sword of the narwhal, and also the teeth 
of the cachelot whale. 

Not long ago, the old male hippopotamus at the Gardens suffered 
much from a decayed tooth. In former times he would have been 
shot, as was poor " Chunee," the elephant at Exeter 'Change. Mr. 
Bartlett, superintendent of the Zoological Gardens, with his ever-ready 
talent in meeting all emergencies, determined to pull out the tooth. 
He ordered the blacksmith to make a pair of " tooth-forceps," and a 
tremendous pair they were. The " bite" of the forceps just fitted the 
tooth of the hippo. By skilful management, Bartlett managed to seize 
Master Hippo's tooth as he put his head through the bars. The hippo, 
roaring frightfully, pulled one way, Bartlett and the keepers pulled 
the other, and at last out came the tooth, and Hippo soon got well 

No animal in this world is made without a purpose, and we always 
find that the structure of an animal is admirably adapted to its mode 
of life. I believe that one of the principal duties which the elephant 
and rhinoceros unconsciously perform, is to cut paths through the 
dense forests and jungles in which they live. The home of the hippo- 
potamus is among the aquatic forests at the bottoms of large rivers 
such as the Upper Nile. It is probable that, in the days of Moses, these 


animals abounded in Lower Egypt. I believe now they do not occur 
in any part of the Nile below the cataracts, the headquarters being 
the central and southern parts of Africa only ; but I am afraid that, as 
civilization increases, so will the hippopotamus retreat. This huge 
animal spends most of its time in the water, and it comes out to feed 
at night. Above the cataracts of the Nile they are very destructive 
to the crops, as they eat an immense quantity, and trample down much 
more than they eat. The stomach contains as much as five or six 
bushels, and the large intestine is eight inches in diameter. They do 
not grind their food much, but rather munch it up. The reader should 
be curious to notice this at the Zoological Gardens. When the old 
hippo opens its mouth, a good-sized baby could as easily be put in as 
one puts a letter into a letter-box. As the elephant makes passes in 
the jungles, so it appears to me that one of the chief offices of the 
hippopotamus is to keep in check the dense vegetation in tropical 
climates, which, if allowed to accumulate, would block up the long 
reaches of rivers, and ultimately turn the flat lands into useless, fever- 
breeding swamps: so that we see this gigantic animal is of very con- 
siderable economic importance. This living machine for the destruc- 
tion of fresh-water vegetation is admirably adapted for its work. 
Nature has not given him any hair, as that would be an incumbrance 
to it, and would not well conduce to its comfort when wallowing in 
the mud. The skin is, therefore, somewhat like that of a pig. If the 
animal had not some protection against the sudden changes of temper- 
ature induced by his going in and out of the water so frequently, he 
would always be either shivering or else unbearably hot. Nature, 
therefore, has given him a thick layer of fat between the skin and the 
muscles. The Dutchmen in Southern Africa call the hippopotamus the 
" Zee-coe," or " Sea-cow." My friend Mr. Mostyn Owen, who has 
travelled a great deal in Africa, tells me that they also call him the 
" Umzivooboo ; and should the reader happen to visit the Dee, near 
Ruabon, he would be exceedingly likely to see a coracle floating 
down the river with a gentleman sitting in it fishing for salmon, and 
he would also probably observe the name " Umzivooboo " painted on 
the coracle in laro-e letters. 

In the water, the hippopotamus, though a gigantic beast, shows 
very little of his carcass. On referring to the engraving, it will be 
observed that the nostrils, eyes, and ears, are on the same level. The 
nostrils are each provided with a wonderful valve, by means of which 
he can open his nostrils to breathe, or shut them up to exclude the 
water. This beautiful mechanism is worked by what is called a 
" sphincter muscle." Reader, your own eyes are worked by a sphinc- 
ter muscle. Stand opposite the looking-glass and wink at yourself, 
you will then see a sphincter muscle in operation. You do not re- 
quire a sphincter muscle to your nose, because you are not amphibious. 
We find, however, that the seal, like the hippopotamus, can close his 


nose at will with a sphincter muscle. Go and look at the seal in the 
Zoological. The valve which works the blow-hole of the whale and 
porpoise is of an analogous character. Strange to say, we find an ani- 
mal that is not amphibious has his nostrils protected by this curious 
and beautiful valve. But you will probably never guess what animal 
this is. Well, it is the camel the " ship of the desert." In the des- 
ert, where the camel lives, there are often " sand-storms," and the 
Creator has provided the poor camel with this wonderful structure to 
save him from suffocation when these terrible sand-storms occur. 

Shortly after the little hippopotamus was born in the Zoological, a 
young rhinoceros was born on board a ship in the Victoria Docks, and 
this poor little animal, whose value was very great, unfortunately died 
his mother lay on him and crushed him with her great carcass. 
Never mind, better luck next time. Leisure Hour. 



THERE is a small knot of thinkers in Birmingham who come to- 
gether to discuss philosophical topics, and call themselves The 
Speculative Club. In 1870 they published a volume of seven essays, 
which were written with much ability, and some of them with great 
boldness. The sixth article of this volume is by Samuel D. Williams, 
and is entitled " Euthanasia," which being interpreted means an easy 
or desirable mode of death. The writer begins by referring to the op- 
position which was made to the administration of chloroform for relief 
of pain, and more especially in cases of childbirth, which was regard- 
ed as a revolt against the divine decree, " In sorrow shalt thou brinsr 
forth." This prejudice having passed away, the writer raises the ques- 
tion of the application of chloroform to a relief of the sufferings which 
often attend the approach of death, and observes : " It is difficult to 
understand why chloroform should be rightly recurred to, to render 
less painful the natural painful passage into life ; and yet, that it should 
be almost an offence to so much as suggest a like recurrence to it in 
the still more painful passage out of life." Why, he asks, should the 
patient about to be operated upon by the surgeon always have a refuge 
from suffering open to him, and yet the patient about to suffer at the 
hands of Nature the worst she has to inflict, be left without help or 
hope of help ? Mr. Williams lays down and defends the following 
proposition : " That in all cases of hopeless and painful illness it 
should be the recognized duty of the medical attendant, whenever so 
desired by the patient, to administer chloroform, or such other anaes- 
thetic as may by-and-by supersede chloroform, so as to destroy con- 
sciousness at once, and put the sufferer at once to a quick and painless 



death ; all needful precautions being adopted to prevent any possible 
abuse of such duty and means being taken to establish, beyond the 
possibility of doubt or question, that the remedy was applied at the 
express wish of the patient.' 1 '' 

After describing the tortures of lingering disease leading to inevi- 
table death, the writer remarks : 

" Cases such as this abound on every hand ; and those who have 
had to witness suffering of this kind, and to stand helplessly by, long- 
ing to minister to the beloved one, yet unable to bring any real respite 
or relief, may well be impatient with the easy-going spirit that sees in 
all this misery so long as it does not fall upon itself nothing but 
' the appointed lot of man ; ' and that opposes, as almost impious or 
profane, every attempt to deal with it effectually. 

" AVhy, it must be asked again, should all this unnecessary suffer- 
ing be endured ? The patient desires to die ; his life can no longer be 
of use to others, and has become an intolerable burden to himself; the 
patient's friends submit to the inevitable, but seek the means of rob- 
bing death of its bitterest sting protracted bodily pain ; the medi- 
cal attendant is at the bedside with all the resources of his knowledge 
and his skill ready to his hand ; he could, were he permitted, bring to 
his patient immediate and permanent relief. Why is he not allowed 
to do so, or, rather, why should not his doing so be a recognized and 
sovereign duty ? " 

To the objection that such a course would be a violation of the 
sacredness of life, the author rejoins : 

" It may well be doubted if life have any sacredness about it, apart 
from the use to be made of it by its possessor. Nature certainly knows 
nothing of any such sacredness, for there is nothing of which she is so 
prodigal ; and a man's life, in her eyes, is of no more value than a 
bird's. And, hitherto, man has shown as little sense of the value of 
man's life as Nature herself, whenever his passions or lusts or interests 
have been thwarted by his brother man, or have seemed likely to be 
forwarded by his brother man's destruction. A sense of the value of 
his own individual life to himself, man has, indeed, seldom been defi- 
cient in ; and, by a kind of reflex action, this sense has slowly given 
birth to, and alway underlies, the sense, such as it is, of the value of 
other men's lives. But even to-day, and amid the most civilized coun- 
tries of Europe, ' the sacredness of man's life ' is thrown to the winds, 
the moment national or political passion grows hot, or even when mere 
material interests are seriously threatened. And, indeed, seeing that 
life is so transitory a thing, and that, at the best, it has to be laid aside 
forever, within the brief space of its threescore years and ten, it is 
hard to understand the meaning of the word ' sacred ' when applied to 
it, except in so far as the word may signify the duty laid on each man 
of using his life nobly while he has it. 

" The objection, then, based on the sacredness of life, may be dis- 


missed ; life is a thing for use, and is to be used freely and sacrificed 
freely, whenever good is to be won or evil avoided by such sacrifice or 
use ; the man who is ever ready to face death for others' sakes, to 
save others from grinding pain, has always been reckoned a hero ; and 
what is heroic if done for another, is surely permissible, at least, if 
done for one's self; the man who could voluntarily give up his life to 
Bave another from months of slow torture, would win everybody's good 
word : why should he be debarred from taking a like step when the 
person to be rescued is himself? " 

It is furthermore urged that the sacredness of life is violated by 
existing medical practice, where, in cases of extreme and hopeless suf- 
fering, physicians administer drugs which give present relief, at the 
expense of shortening the patient's life. 

To the objection that submission to the will of Providence forbids 
the shortening of pain in this way, the writer replies that " by the same 
principle we should submit to the will of Providence, and not seek to 
escape any pain. Not submission to surrounding circumstances 
another term for God's will but successful effort to bend them to his 
purposes, is man's chief business here ; and every useful thing he does 
is a successful attempt to change, for his own or others' benefit, some 
of the conditions of life which surround him." 

And thus the author of " Euthanasia " goes on attacking current 
ideas, and taking his own view of the economy of the world. Nature 
is to him not a mighty, beneficent mother, any more than she is a dread 

and relentless power 

" Red in tooth and claw 
With ravine." 

" Death by disease is always death by torture, and the wit of man 
has never devised torture more cruel than are some of Nature's meth- 
ods of putting her victims to death. 

" One of the main facts, then, that men have to make familiar to 
their thoughts and to adjust their lives to, is, that they are born into a 
world on the painful riddle of which speculation can throw no light, 
but the facts of which press hard against them on every hand ; and 
from these facts the truth stands out clear and harsh, th^t not enjoy- 
ment, but, in the main, struggle and suffering, is what they have to 
look for, and that, to bring this suffering into bearable proportions, 
should be one of the chief aims of their lives." 

The publication of this essay made but little stir at first. But it 
was separated from the volume, and published in a pamphlet with 
preface by Rose Mary Crawshay, and in this shape went to the third 
edition. The subject has been lately taken up in the Fortnightly 
Hevietc, by Mr. Tollemache, under the title of " A NeAv Cure for In- 
curables." Planting himself on Mr. Williams's ground, he reproduces 
his chief arguments, and adds others, with a view of strengthening the 
case. To illustrate how far pain reconciles us to death, he says: 


" It is probably from surgical cases that the strongest arguments 
for euthanasia may be drawn. One of the highest authorities respect- 
ing such cases, the late Sir Benjamin Brodie, said that a very moder- 
ate amount of pain, if continued for a long time, would make any one 
heartily tired of life. He remarked also, that during his whole life he 
had known only two dying persons who showed any fear of death ; 
and that both those died of bleeding. One cause of this singular cir- 
cumstance probably was, that in these two cases there was hardly any 
pain to distract the mind ; and the fact is curious, as showing how 
rare, in Sir Benjamin's experience, such painless deaths must have 

The publication of this paper gave the discussion a fresh impulse, 
and numerous articles and letters have appeared in the English press, 
a few in favor of Euthanasia, but most of them decidedly against it. 
The Saturday Review, which had at first coquetted with Mr. Williams's 
theory as a novelty, upon sober reflection condemned it. The follow- 
ing is a part of its argument : 

" It is of primary importance to inculcate a regard for the sanctity 
of human life. The reluctance to take life is indeed often pushed to 
an extreme by the opponents of capital punishments. But nobody 
can say that the mass of the population have as yet pushed their ten- 
derness to the verge of effeminacy. A little story, related for a differ- 
ent purpose in the Fortnightly Hevieto, illustrates very prettily a sen- 
timent which is not so uncommon as might be desired. A sensible 
Scotchman watching by the bedside of his dying wife became impa- 
tient at the poor woman's anxiety to express her last wishes, and 
civilly requested her to ' get on wi' her deeing.' Now, among the 
poorer classes, where the inconvenience inflicted by people who ' take 
an unconscionable time in dying ' is necessarily felt much more keenly 
than with people in a different rank, it is to be feared that this deli- 
cate hint is frequently followed up by some practical remonstrances. 
i They pinched his nose beneath the clothes,' as Barham says, on the 
authority of a real occurrence, ' and the poor dear soul went off like 
a lamb.' Suppose, in fact, the case of a small cottage, where the in- 
valid has become a heavy burden upon his family instead of a support, 
where the expense of providing medicine and attendance is most seri- 
ously felt, and where the sick-room is also the only dwelling-room, 
must there not frequently be a strong temptation to give him a quiet 
push or two along the downward path ? If it were understood to be 
the law that invalids might be finished off when the case was hopeless, 
would not the temptation be frequently overpowering? Yes, it is 
replied, but the doctor and the parson must be present. That is all 
very well, but, if the practice became common, the people would 
quickly learn to take the law into their own hands. For it is to be 
observed that this is one of the cases where nobody could tell tales. 
A man on the verge of death does not require to have his throat cut 


or a dose of arsenic administered. A judicious shake, an omission to 
cover him properly, or the exhibition of an over-dose of laudanum, will 
do the business eifectually, and no possible proof remains. Once 
allow that such things may be done with due precautions, and the pre- 
cautions will soon be neglected as troublesome formalities. . Why 
bother the doctor and the parson, why ask the sick man's consent, 
when the case is so clear ? Of course the system need not be openly 
mentioned, but it would be speedily understood to be a highly con- 
venient practice. The advocates of the scheme admit that the precau- 
tions of which we have spoken are absolutely necessary to prevent 
abuse ; and we may add that it is simply impossible to enforce their 
observance. The practice itself once sanctioned, nothing is clearer 
than that people could, if they chose, cai*ry it out in their own meth- 
ods. No practice, again, could be more directly destructive of any 
strong persuasion of the sanctity of life. We need only read a few 
police reports, to understand how great is the existing tendency to 
violence of all kinds. Infanticide, as we know, prevails to a terrible 
extent, and wife-killing is not much less popular. Admit that the 
slaughter of invalids is also right under certain limitations, and it is 
easy to guess the consequences. The devotion which the poor display 
in cases of sickness is often among the most touching and amiable 
features of their character. In spite of the temptations we have no- 
ticed, thev will often make noble sacrifices for the comfort of their 
dying relatives. Tell them plainly that they are rather fools for their 
pains than otherwise, and that they had better suggest suicide to the 
sufferer at the eai'liest opportunity, and you do your best to encourage, 
not merely suicide, but the cruel murder of a helpless man. A death- 
bed, instead of being the scene for calling forth the tenderest emotions 
and the noblest self-sacrifice, will be haunted by a horrid suspicion ; 
the sick man fearing that his departure is earnestly desired, and his 
friends inclining to the opinion that killing is not murder, but kind- 
ness. The agitation of the question, what is the proper moment for 
smothering your dying father instead of soothing him, is not favorabie 
to the development of those sentiments and the inculcation of those 
lessons which we generally associate with a sick-bed. In fact, the 
plan which certain eccentric philanthropists have advocated with such 
queer enthusiasm has a direct tendency to make men greater brutes 
than they are, and they are quite brutal enough already." 

The Spectator objects that "'the gravest of the merely rational 
objections we can bring against Mr. Tollemache is, that the ideas of 
which he is the advocate would plainly lead to two entirely new 
phases of feeling impatience of hopeless suffering instead of tender- 
ness toward it, where there was any legal difficulty in the way of get- 
ting rid of it by the proposed new law and further, a disposition to 
regard people as ' selfish ' who continued burdens upon others without 
any near and clear chance of the complete restoration of their own 


powers. Suppose it were permitted, as Mr. Tollemache wishes, that, 
on receiving the testimony of two or three physicians that a man's 
case is hopeless, he might, if he chose, elect to die, and that popular 
feeling came to sanction that choice as the right choice ; what can be 
clearer than that, in the absence of any relations to whom such pa- 
tients were dear, and who took pleasure therefore in prolonging their 
life, there would spring up a tone of habitual displeasure and irritation 
toward all who chose to go on giving unnecessary trouble to the 
world, and that veiy soon the standard of ' unnecessary ' trouble 
would begin inevitably to become lower and lower, so that all the 
organized charity which now expresses itself in our hospital system 
would gradually suffer ' a sea-change ' into something by no means 
' rich or strange ' a sort of moral pressure, on poor invalids with any 
thing like a prospect of long-continued helplessness, to demand the 
right of ridding the world of themselves ? We say that it is in this 
reflex effect of the new code of feeling upon our thoughts of disease, 
in the transformation it would certainly make of pure pity into impa- 
tience and something like reproachful displeasure, that the extreme 
danger of arguing out this sort of question, on the superficial consider- 
ations of the balance of pain and pleasure for each individual case, is 
best seen." 

In a letter to the same paper, Mr. F. A. Channing says : " It is odd 
that men whose thought is mainly an outcome of modern science should 
fail to apply what is, perhaps, the most striking conception of modern 
science that of time in relation to growth to questions such as this 
of Euthanasia. If the central human instincts on which morality rests 
are the slowly-won product of ages of moral growth, a practice out of 
harmony with the most fundamental of those instincts, however spec- 
ulatively excellent, could not be introduced without mischief. It would 
sacrifice too much of human feeling before it had time to put itself on 
a rational footing. Even in the individual philosopher it may be 
doubted whether reason could remodel instinct so as to make the 
sense of duty in such a case really complete. In most men the over- 
ridden instincts would merely be replaced by selfishness and cruelty to 
the helpless. They would lose the gentleness of strength, without 
gaining the least glimpse of the new morality. 

" In Euthanasia we are offered a refined copy of the customs of some 
savage tribes, among whom life is more difficult to maintain, and so 
less valuable. But, then, their instincts are on the level of their cus- 
toms. There is no jar between calculation and sentiment, such as we 
should have. Such a jar would make the practice, if adopted among 
us, spring from an estimate of personal advantages, and not from the 
half-thought-out sense of what is best, which is duty to most men. 
And, where such imperative instincts as the desire to keep life for our- 
selves and our friends at all costs are directly repressed in forming and 
acting on this estimate, the result must be moral loss to all except the 


philosopher who has had time to think his soul to oneness under the 
rule of reason. Euthanasia might become a wholesome doctrine if 
time should dissolve our present, perhaps animal, feelings, and replace 
them by more economical sentiments. But, as we are, it could only be 
an esoteric doctrine for the few who might have opportunities of end- 
ing hopeless misery by chloroform without giving needless pain to their 
friends. That is, it would be applicable only in the way Prof. Newman 

" It may, of course, be urged that there has been a latent change in 
men's notions of life and death which only needs expression, and that, 
if men talked freely, many would be found to talk Euthanasia. But 
facts like the growing aversion to capital punishment seem to point 
the other way. It is not because we feel less keenly the horror of mur- 
der, but because we are more scrupulous about taking even the least 
worthy life. Take the growing leniency toward infanticide. It is not 
because there is a change of opinion as to the duty of keeping even 
superfluous babies alive, but because we are more reluctant to take a 
woman's life in vengeance for a child's. Again, the sense that under 
certain circumstances it would be better for us or those dear to us to 
die, is surely far from being the true wish for death overwhelming the 
passionate impulse to keep up life to the last. 

" It might be said, too, that the apology of Euthanasia stands on 
the same footing as the apology of cowardice, such as those French 
towns showed whose people did not think it worth while to hold out. 
Was it, or was it not worth while ? " . 



By Prof. FE. MOHK. 


IT is a fact, as yet unaccounted for, that, whereas the thawing-point 
of ice is constant, the freezing-point of water may, under certain 
conditions, be brought 'considerably below the temperature at which 
ice begins to melt. In glass vessels, with free access of air, pure water 
may be reduced to a temperature of from 15 to 17 Fahr. below the 
thawing-point, or, in a vacuum, from 18 to 20 Fahr. without freez- 
ing. A slight concussion, or contact with any rough surface, but espe- 
cially with ice or snow, causes congelation at once, and the tempera- 
ture ascends to the thawing-point. This rise of temperature is usually 
explained by the transition from the liquid to the solid form ; but this 
is, after all, no true explanation, but merely a putting together of two 
facts which are apparently very nearly related. 


The greater fall of the freezing-ppint in vacuo, as compared with 
its fall in the atmosphere, would appear to be ascribable to the absence 
of small corpuscles (spores ?). The melting of ice, as also the freezing 
of water, is a purely chemical process, though commonly called physi- 
cal. Here heat is converted into a chemical effect ; and, conversely, a 
chemical effect into heat. The phrase, " heat becomes latent," can no 
longer satisfy us, for latent heat is no heat at all. Here centre some 
facts belonging to the organic kingdom, to which my attention has 
been called by a letter received from Herr Fr. Donhoff, of Orsoy. 

The humors of butterfly-pupa?, which pass the winter in the open 
air, remain fluid in the coldest climate. If we cut in two such pupa?, 
at a temperature of 15 to 13 Fahr., the two halves quickly congeal 
and become as hard as stone. Juices of plants which do not freeze 
during winter, remain fluid, as is shown by the flexibility of the cab- 
bage-leaf ; while wet frozen linen may be broken, but refuses to bend. 
If you crush the leaves of green or red cabbage at a temperature be- 
low the freezing-point, they freeze at once ; and, if you cut in pieces 
the ribs of a cabbage-leaf, you cannot press water out of the ends, for 
it freezes the moment they are cut up. Here the question arises how it 
is that watery fluids remain liquid in the tissues of animals and plants, 
whereas they at once freeze when the tissues are injured. A constant 
supply of heat is not to be thought of in pupa? or in eggs, such as is 
found in animals. Here I will bring forward two facts which throw 
some degree of light upon this question. 

If you throw upon a glass plate a thin layer of flower of sulphur, 
and melt it by the application of heat, you will find that the larger 
particles are the first to become dry and solid on cooling, and to as- 
sume the yellow color. The smaller particles, on the other hand, re- 
main fluid at common temperatures. Under the microscope they are 
transparent, and may be spread out with the dry finger ; a fact which 
proves them to be viscous. Hence it follows that minute particles of 
sulphur may be cooled 170 below their melting-point without solidify- 
ing, but not so with larger particles. 

Once, in preparing phosphuretted hydrogen, I suffered the mixture 
of phosphorus and caustic alkali to cool in the retort. On taking the 
apparatus apart on the next day, the phosphorus was found to be still'; 
molten at a common temperature, though its melting temperature is 
115 Fahr. On repeating the experiment, it was found that the phos- 
phorus might be cooled to 38 Fahr. before it solidified. Thus it re- 
mained fluid 11 below its melting-point. 

Another observation was made, as follows : One night, at ten, 
o'clock, with the temperature at 4 Fahr., a dense fog lay over, the 
Moselle, through which, however, the brighter stars were visible.. A 
cold current of air was coming from the direction of a neighboring 
hill, some 350 feet in height. The mist advanced steadily from the 
hill over the valley, but was constantly renewed, as the cold . blast.. 

TOL. III. 7 

Q 8 the popular science monthly. 

came in contact with the moist .air over the stream. The following 
morning all the trees, especially the pines, were covered with a heavy- 
hoar-frost, but on the land-side only, not on the water-side. On ex- 
amining the ice-spicules, they were found to be perfectly crystalline, 
with angles of from 60 to 120, and the long needles were made up 
of minute crystals set one upon another, and on one side resembling a 
flight of stairs. The particles of water floating in the air were, of 
course, of the temperature of the atmosphere, and consequently below 
the thawing-point. So soon as they came in contact with the points 
of the ice-spicules, they solidified, just as very cold water will when it 
is touched with ice. If the particles of mist had been changed into 
ice while still floating in air, they would have gathered upon the 
spicules of the pines in the shape of irregular pulverulent conglomer- 
ates, but would not have formed crystals. The plainly crystalline 
form of the ice-spicules shows, beyond a doubt, that the particles of 
mist were fluid at 4 Fahr. From these facts it follows that the 
minuter the particles of a liquid body are, the further they can be 
brought beneath their thawing-point without freezing. 

If, now, we make an application of these facts to the above phenom- 
ena of organic Nature, we find that the reason why watery. humors of 
pupa?, eggs, leaves and shoots, do not freeze, is because the cells con- 
taining these humors are very minute : in other words, the larger the 
cells the more quickly will plants freeze. It is well known that the 
young sprouts of vines, potatoes, and other plants, very readily freeze 
under a light frost, as was the case on May 12th of last year. Now, 
these young sprouts of vines are extremely juicy, containing a great 
quantity of water, and consequently but little cellulose. And, al- 
though the vines of the preceding year stood a winter temperature of 
2 Fahr. without freezing, the sprouts of the self-same plants were 
frosted at 21 Fahr. Freezing expands the water and bursts the cells, 
and the break-up of the texture stops the process of growth. The 
buds of vines are more watery than the ligneous vines themselves. 
Hence, too, last winter, on the night of December 7th, many buds 
were frozen, while the vines were unhurt. On a vine eight feet in 
length, one of the latest of the buds rested on a wall covered with 
snow, and this shot forth in the spring, though all the other buds on 
the vine failed." It was the coming of the frost so early in December 
'that made it so destructive, for the vines grow ever drier, and the sap 
tends toward the roots, from the beginning of autumn. This process 
had not gone so far in December as it would have gone in the first 
'half ef January, when usually the heavy frosts set in. Those branches 
whose buds are destroyed by frost, afterward die of their own accord, 
"because the sap is unemployed, and the work of the leaf has ceased. 
Several of the vines remained green, and flourished toward the end of 
April on being pruned, but afterward dried up, as their buds were 
without life. 



Hence we might draw the general conclusion, that all southern 
plants which are unable to endure our winter have large cells, and 
that, at the North, only such plants can be naturalized as answer to 
the requirement of small cells. As in Nature there are no aims, but 
only necessity, we may also hence conclude that a low temperature is 
favorable to the development of small cells. We have here, further- 
more, an explanation of the hairy coats of animals. Animals which 
live in the North have all a thick coat, while those living in the south 
have a thin one. The mammoth was covered with hair 12 inches long, 
while his descendant, the elephant, who lives only in southern climates, 
is almost naked. Animals coming from the south, and acclimatized in 
the north, acquire hair, and vice versa. At the poles the fox wears his 
winter-coat the whole year through. In Sweden his coat remains for 
10 months ; in Germany, for 6 months ; farther south, 3 months until 
at last it is entirely dropped. No one will here discover an aim, but 
rather this necessary consequence, that a lower temperature produces 
a growth of hair in some way unknown to us. The same is true as to 
the development of cells. If, as a general rule, a warmer temperature 
necessitates larger cells, then the plants of southern regions will perish 
from the frost of northerly latitudes. The leaf of the potato-vine can 
never endure frost ; but it is only in early spring that the plant can 
be visited by frost in temperate climates, and there is no frost in sum- 
mer, while in autumn the tubers ai*e protected by the soil. The young 
branches of the oak and beech (two trees belonging, indeed, to our 
climate) are quite as little able to endure the frost, and suffer from it 
severely during the night in spring. On the other hand, the spicules of 
the pine and the sword-shaped leaves of the yucca stand the severest 
cold of our winters. 

As regards the temperature of those portions of plants (sprouts of 
vines, potatoes, etc.) which are killed by the spring frosts, we have no 
definite knowledge. It is probable that these parts become, by radia- 
tion, considerably colder than the shining bulb of the thermometer, 
and that they do not share in the temperature of the air, but fall to a 
lower temperature by radiation. In cloudy nights, when the ther- 
mometer shows 30 or 31 Fahr., nothing freezes, though the contrary 
takes place on bright nights. But here, too, the smallness of the cells 
appears to lower the freezing-point of water some few degrees. 

Yet, in thus bringing into very probable relation two different 
facts, viz., the non-congelation of pupa? and leaves, and the fluidity of 
molten sulphur and of mist-particles, we have no complete explanation 
of the phenomenon. Such an explanation would show why it is that 
small particles have a different freezing-point from large ones of the 
same substance. This would require a very profound acquaintance 
with the nature of the molecular motion of heat, as also of chemical 
affinitv. Gaea. 



I JOHN TYNDALL, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Royal 
) Institution of Great Britain, having, at the solicitation of my 
friends, lectured in various cities of the United States, find the receipts 
and disbursements on account of these lectures to be as follows : 


From Boston, for six lectures $1,500 00 

" Philadelphia, for six lectures 3,000 00 

" Baltimore, for three lectures 1,000 00 

" Washington, for six lectures 2,000 00 

" New York, for six lectures 8,500 00 

" Brooklyn, for six lectures 6,100 00 

" New Haven, for two lectures . 1,000 00 

Total receipts $23, 100 


Before leaving England : wages of assistants during the preparation of the lect- 
ures ; work of philosophical-instrument maker ; new apparatus ; sundry 
items for outfit ; travelling expenses of myself and two assistants from 
London to New York make a total of 671 6s. 8d. which, at the rate of 
$5.60 per pound, amounts to 3,692 31 

In the United States : hotel and travelling expenses for myself and two as- 
sistants ; other expenses incidental to lectures in Boston, Philadelphia, 1 
Baltimore, Washington, New York, Brooklyn, and New Haven covering 
a period of four months plus travelling expenses of myself and my 
assistants from New York to London make a total of 4,749 35 

Present to Yale Scientific Club 250 00 

Salaries to assistants for four months, 250, which, at $5.50 per pound, 

amounts to 1,375 00 

Making the total disbursements $10,066 66 


The total receipts are $23,100 00 

The total disbursements 10,066 66 

Making the net proceeds of lectures $13,033 34 

As an evidence of my good-will toward the people of the United 
States, I desire to devote this sum of $13,033 to the advancement of 
theoretic science, and the promotion of original research, especially in 
the department of physics, in the United States. 

To accomplish this object, I hereby appoint Prof. Joseph Henry, 

1 At Philadelphia I had no hotel expenses, but was most comfortably lodged at the 
house of my kinsman, General Hector Tyndale. He, I may add, paid his own hotel ex- 
penses wherever he accompanied me. 


Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington City, D. C, 
Dr. E. L. Youmans of New York, and General Hector Tyndale, of 
Philadelphia, to act as a Board of Trustees to "take charge of the 
above sum, to carefully invest it in permanent securities ; and I fur- 
ther direct that the said Board shall, for the present, appropriate the 
interest of the fund in supporting, or in assisting to support, at such 
European universities as they may consider most desirable, two (2) 
American pupils who may evince decided talents in physics, and who 
may express a determination to devote their lives to this work. My 
desire would be that each pupil should spend four years at a German 
university, three of those years to be devoted to the acquisition of 
knowledge, and the fourth to original investigation. 

If, however, in the progress of science in- the United States, it 
should at any time appear to the said Board that the end herein pro- 
posed would be better subserved by granting aid to students, ox for 
some special researches in this country, the Board is authorized to 
make appropriations from the income of the fund for such purposes. 

I further direct that vacancies which may occur in said Board of 
Trustees, by death or otherwise, shall be filled by the President of the 
National Academy of Sciences. 

If in the course of any year the whole amount of the interest which 
accrues from the fund be not expended in the manner before men- 
tioned, the surplus may be added to the principal, or may be expended 
in addition to the annual interest of another year, 

If at any time any organization shall be established, and money 
provided by other persons for the promotion of such original research 
as I have in view, I authorize the said Board of Trustees to exercise 
their discretion as to cooperating in such work from the income of this 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th 
of February, 1873, in the city of New York. 

(Signed) Join* Tyndall (l. s.) 
In presence of 

(Signed) C. Bttrritt Watte, 

(Signed) L. E. Fuller. 


IR GEORGE BIDDELL AIRY, the Astronomer Royal, was born 
on the 27th of June, 1801, at Alnwick, in Northumberland. His 
education was first cared for at two private academies, now at Here- 
ford, now at Colchester. From the Colchester Grammar-School, when 
eighteen years of age, he went, in 1819, to Trinity College, Cambridge. 



Three years afterward he was elected to a scholarship. In 1823, oh 
his graduating B. A., young Airy came out as Senior Wrangler. In 
1824 he obtained his Fellowship at Trinity. His degree of M. A. w T as 
taken in 1826, and he was simultaneously elected, though only then 
in his twenty-fifth year, as Lucasian Professor at Cambridge. Illus- 
trious philosophers bike Barrow and Newton had preceded him in the 
occupation of that historic chair. Latterly, however, the office had 
become, in a great measure, purely honorary, and might almost be said 
to have degenerated into a sinecure. 

Prof. Airy, once elevated to that position, determined to avail him- 
self of Ids professorship to the advantage alike of himself and the 
university. Consequent upon this determination, he for nearly ten 
years together namely, from 1827 to 1836 delivered, with admirable 
effect, a series of public lectures on experimental philosophy, by which 
his scientific "reputation was very considerably advanced. The series 
was all the more remarkable, inasmuch as it was one of the earliest 
means of effectively illustrating the marvellous phenomena constitut- 
ing the now almost universally adopted undulatory theory of light. 
Two years after Prof. Airy's induction into the chair established by 
Lucas, the estimation in which he was held at the university was still 
further signalized by his election to the Plumian Professorship. Nom- 
inated to that post of authority and honor, he at once obtained, by 
right of his position, the supreme command of the Cambridge Ob- 

Already, even then, he began those remarkable improvements in 
the method of calculating and publishing the observations which event- 
ually became the law at Greenwich and at all the other great observa- 
tories. As indicative of the energy and daring of his innovations at 
Cambridge, he superintended the construction and mounting, one 
after another, of a series of renowned astronomical instruments. In 
that observatory, he brought into use a noble specimen of the 
equatorial, being that peculiar description of telescope which has 
its fixed axis so directed to the pole of the heavens that the tube may 
be readily made to follow any star by a single motion. There, more- 
over, he brought into effective employment a mural circle of admirable 
construction, bearing a telescope which revolves in the plane of the 
meridian, the whole being rigidly bound into some immovable struct- 
ure of ponderous masonry. Prof. Airy, in his thirty-fourth year, be- 
came Astronomer Royal. Thirty-eight years have since elapsed. 
Under his directions, it is hardly too much to say that the organization 
of the establishment at Greenwich has been completely transformed. 
He has given great regularity to its minute and multiform proceedings. 
He has contrived to establish newer and sounder methods of calcula- 
tion and publication. He has introduced, constructed, mounted, and 
employed, a series of novel instruments for the advancement of as- 
tronomic research. Perhaps the finest transit-circle at present any- 


where to be found is the one he there constructed in 1860, the circles 
being no less than six feet in diameter, and the telescope affixed be- 
tween the two graduated disks being twelve feet long, and having an 
object-glass of as many as eight inches in aperture. Through this 
splendid apparatus the altitude of the stars, as well as the time of 
meridian passage, is now unerringly marked at the great national ob- 
servatory. But the greatest of all the instruments established by him 
at Greenwich is a large, first-class equatorium, well known among 

During Sir George Airy's rule at the observatory he has, in the 
midst of his other labors, reduced the Greenwich observations of the 
moon and of the planets from 1750 down to the present tfme. Inci- 
dentally he has thrown considerable light on ancient chronology by 
his ingenious calculation of some of the most renowned of historical 
eclipses. Thrice the Astronomer Royal has taken occasion to visit the 
European Continent for the purpose of making more accurate observa- 
tions upon the solar eclipse then eagerly anticipated. In 1854 he ap- 
proximated more nearly than any previous investigation had done to 
the weight of the earth, through a series of experiments on the relative 
vibration of a pendulum at the top and bottom of Harton Coal-pit. 

Sir George Airy has been repeatedly called into council on matters 
of grave difficulty by the government. He was chairman of the royal 
commission empowered to supervise the delicate process of contriving 
new standards of length and of weight, the old standards having been 
destroyed in 1834 in the conflagration of the Houses of Parliament. 
He was consulted some years afterward by the government in respect 
to the bewildering disturbance of the magnetic compass in iron-built 
ships-of-war. Thereupon he contrived an ingenious system of mechan- 
ical construction, through a combination of magnets and iron. The 
result was successful, and the system generally adopted. He conducted 
the astronomical observations necessary to the drawing of the boun- 
dary-line now traceable on the map of the New World between the 
Canadas and the United States. During the battle of the gauges in 
the railway world Sir George Airy strenuously advocated the narrow 
gauge, and he just as energetically advocates the adoption of a decimal 
currency. The writings of the Astronomer Royal are numerous. He 
has contributed largely to the Cambridge Transactions and the Philo- 
sophical Transactions. His pen has notably illustrated the memoirs 
of the Astronomical Society. He has written abundantly for the 
Philosophical Magazine, and still more abundantly, under his reversed 
initials, A. B. G., in the columns of the Athenceum. His principal 
works, however, are those which may be here rapidly enumerated : 
" Gravitation," published in 1837, was written originally for the " Penny 
Cyclopaedia." " Mathematical Tracts" have reached a fourth edition, 
as have also his " Ipswich Lectures on Astronomy." In 18G1 appeared 
his treatise on "Errors of Observation;" in 1869 his treatise on 


" Sound ; " and in 1 870 his treatise on " Magnetism." Sir George Airy's 
well-known work on "Trigonometry " was published in 1855. Another 
work of his, entitled "Figure of the Earth," has yet to be named, as 
well as the luminous paper on " Tides and Waves," contributed by 
him, first of all, to the " Encyclopaedia Metropolitana." Even while 
simply Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge his " Astronomical Ob- 
servations," issuing from the press between 1829 and 1838, extended 
to nine quarto volumes, and were adopted at once as models for that 
class of publication. 

Sir George Airy has received the Lalande Gold Medal of the French 
Institute in honor of his important discoveries in astronomy. For his 
successful optical theories he has had awarded to him the Copley Gold 
Medal of the Royal Society. The Royal Gold Medal of the same so- 
ciety has been given to him in recompense for his tidal investigations. 
Twice the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society has been 
his first, for his discovery of an inequality of long period in the 
movements of Venus and the earth ; secondly, in return for his reduc- 
tion of the planetary observations. He has been enrolled among the 
most honored members of the Royal Astronomical Society, of the 
Cambridge Philosophical Society, and of the Institute of Civil Engi- 
neers. For many years past he has been among the foreign corre- 
spondents of the Institute of France, as well as of several other scien- 
tific academies on the Continent. He has received honorary degrees 
of D. C. L. and LL. D. from each of the three great universities Ox- 
ford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh. On May 17, 1872, Sir George was 
gazetted a Knight of the Bath. His claim upon the remembrance of 
posterity, however, will be that of having occupied with distinguished 
ability the post of Astronomer Royal of Great Britain during consid- 
erably more than the lifetime of a whole generation. 

The Illustrated Iievieic, a London biographical and literary pe- 
riodical, to which we are indebted for the preceding statements, re- 
marks that, since the death of Sir John Herschel, on the 11th of May, 
1871, Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal, is the admitted master 
of the sublime science. There are other eminent English astronomers 
as John Hinde, the discoverer of many asteroids, and John Adams, 
also a Cambridge Senior Wrangler and the rival of Urban Leverrier, 
who groped his way by mathematical calculation to the discovery of 
the position of the hitherto unknown planet Neptune. If incidents as 
brilliant and remarkable as these are wanting in the history of Sir 
George Airy, his claims to respect are equally valuable, solid, and en- 




To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly: 

AS you have done my brief after-dinner 
speech (a kind of performance that 
usually perishes with the occasion) the 
honor of an elaborate criticism, which I 
think a little one-sided and unfair, I ask 
the privilege to reply. 

You say that I used tbe occasion of the 
Tyndall banquet " to give a lesson to the 
scientific gentlemen present as to the proper 
limit of their inquiries." But that is hard- 
ly a just representation. Neither in matter 
nor manner did I pretend " to instruct " any- 
body; but, assuming that the Press, on 
which I was invited to speak, was a kind 
of universal reporter, I simply asked a few 
questions of an audience so competent to 
give the answer, as to the validity of cer- 
tain speculative opinions confidently put 
forth in the name of science. That the 
mode of doing so was neither presumptuous 
nor offensive, I infer from the cordial ap- 
proval given to my remarks by eminent sci- 
entific gentlemen, both at the time and 

You seem to resent the speech as an im- 
pertinence in saying that " it has ever been 
a favorite occupation of outsiders to in- 
struct the investigators of Nature where 
they must stop," etc. But does Science set 
up any pretension to the character of an 
exclusive church ? It is true I am an out- 
sider; i. e., I have made no discoveries in 
science ; I have cultivated no special branch 
of it as a pursuit ; all that I know of it I 
have learned from others, by diligent though 
somewhat desultory reading, for thirty years 
past; but may I not, therefore, have an 
opinion of what I am taught ? Is it te- 
merity to endeavor to distinguish what is 
real science from what is not, particular- 
ly at a time when there is so much put 
forth that is likely to confuse the careless 

Be that as it may, what I complain of is, 
that you class me among the bigots, who 
in every age have protested against the 

progress of knowledge, alleging that I pre- 
sented myself as " the champion of imper- 
illed faith," whereas my protest was merely 
in behalf of true science against fahe. And, 
in order to make out your case, you sup- 
press all reference to the first part of my 
speech, in which I uttered, as fully as the 
occasion allowed, the highest estimations of 
Science and my almost unbounded hopes of 
its future. Permit me to revive what I said : 
After hailing Science as the "King of the 
Epoch," to which all other forms of intel- 
lectual activity were doing homage, and a3 
the "mighty Magician," that by its brill- 
iant and fertile researches surpassed what- 
ever the imagination had depicted in fable, 
I continued : " Science is to me not only a 
proof of man's intellectual superiority, and 
the seal of his emancipation from the tyr- 
anny of ignorance, but the pledge of an 
unimaginable progress in the future. By 
the beautiful uniformities of law, which it 
discovers in Nature, it discharges the human 
mind of those early superstitions which saw 
a despot god in every bush, whose wanton 
will paralyzed the free flight of our intel- 
lect, and debauched our best affections. 
Neither the tempests nor frowns of Nature 
are terrible to us, now that we may bend 
her most hostile forces into willing obe- 
dience, and find her full, not of malice, but 
of good-will. For, out of that benignity, 
and our supremacy over it, will yet come a 
power that will enable us to transform these 
poverty-smitten, sordid, unjust, and crimi- 
nal civilizations, into happy and harmonious 
societies, when every man shall be glad in 
the gladness of his fellows, and, for the first 
time, feel the assurance of a universal Di- 
vine paternity. Science, moreover, in wrest- 
in" from Creation her final secrets, will fur- 
nish to the philosophic mind the means of 
a more effulgent and glorious solution of the 
dark problems of life and destiny than it is 
possible to reach by unaided conjecture. 
She will prove what the spiritual insight of 
the seers has only dimly discerned, that Na- 
ture, which now seems so inscrutable to us, 
so hard and unfeeling toward human hopes 



and desires, is the most kindly and gener- 
ous of helpmates, and not a tyrannic lord ; 
that these outward appearances are but the 
shows of an inward reality which is entirely 
human; that these phenomenal forms and 
events are but the symbols of an eternal 
Love and Truth, which the great spiritual 
Sun of the Universe projects and photo- 
graphs upon the sensitive plates of our 
finite human intelligence." 

Thus, while I ascribed to science a po- 
tent and beneficent efficacy, first, in dis- 
charging the mind of its fears of Nature 
and of other superstitions ; second, in per- 
fecting civilization ; and, lastly, in promis- 
ing the surest groundwork for speculative 
generalizations, both naturalistic and theo- 
logical, you represent me as deprecating its 
influences, and as even questioning its util- 
ity. That was scarcely fair. How, indeed, 
could I do so ? Holding profoundly to the 
conviction (how derived is not here the 
question) that there is but one real Life in 
the Universe, whose infinite Love is the 
ground of all Force, and whose infinite 
truth is the ground of all Law, and that phe- 
nomenal Nature is but the varied manifes- 
tation of that life to and through the human 
mind, it would be intellectual suicide in 
me to attempt imposing fetters upon any le- 
gitimate search of Nature's methods. Every 
step we make in unfolding her secrets is a 
new revelation of an adorable goodness and 
wisdom, and a new help toward a nobler 

But then I said and it was the whole 
purport of my speech, made in the inter- 
ests of science as well as religion that we 
can only expect these results from true 
science, which investigates what Nature 
really is, and not from a hasty and pre- 
sumptuous science, which pretends to give 
us what Nature may be supposed to be. And 
my criterion of true science, suggested in a 
phrase, was, that the methods and results 
of it bear the impress of exactitude or cer- 
tainty. You remark, as if you did not re- 
ceive these simple and fundamental prin- 
ciples, that the " exact sciences " are exact, 
while others are not. There, I think, we 
differ or misunderstand each other. I am 
aware that none of the sciences are exact 
in the mathematical sense of the word, save 
the ideal or abstract sciences ; but it is 

none the less true that the real or con- 
crete sciences are exact, in the usual sense 
of the word, both in their methods and 
products. If they are not exact, where does 
the inexactness come in ? In the observation 
of facts ? Then the induction is vitiated. 
In the induction itself? Then the law arrived 
at is imperfect. In the deductive verifica- 
tion or proof? Then we have no reason for 
trusting our process. Biology, psychology, 
and sociology, you say, are sciences and 
certain sciences ; to which my reply is, that, 
to the extent in which they are not precise, 
they are not sciences. Indeed, saving in a 
popular and convenient sense, I should be 
disposed to doubt whether they are yet to 
be ranked as more than inchoate sciences. 
They belong to the domain of science, have 
gathered some of the richest materials for 
science, and have attained to some extent a 
scientific value ; but there is yet so much 
uncertainty hanging over broad regions 
in each that we must await the future for 
the resolution of many unresolved ques- 
tions, which may give a new aspect to the 
whole. Biology is the most advanced, but 
rather in its natural history and classifica- 
tion, than in its knowledge of the profound- 
er laws of life, that are yet to be found. 
Psychology is so little of a science, that the 
teachers of it hardly agree on the funda- 
mental points ; or, if it be a science, whose 
exposition of it are we to accept, Sir "William 
Hamilton's or Mr. Mill's, Herbert Spencer's 
or Dr. Porter's, who all profess to be ex- 
perimental and inductive, and all disagree ? 
As to Sociology, the name for which was in- 
vented only a few years since by Comte, it 
is still in a chaotic condition ; and, unless 
Mr. Spencer, whose few introductory chap- 
ters are alone made public, succeeds in giv- 
ing it consistency and form, it can hardly 
be called more than a hope. But, be the 
truth what it may, in respect to these par- 
ticular branches of knowledge, I still insist 
that certainty is the criterion of true sci- 
ence, and that, if we give that criterion up, 
science loses its authority, its prestige, its 
assurance of march, and its sovereign posi- 
tion as an arbiter in the varying struggles 
of doctrine. 

Well, then the examples I gave, without 
mentioning names, of what I considered 
false science, were, first, the gross material- 



ism of Biichner, who derives all the phe- 
nomena of life from simple combinations of 
matter and force ; second, the atheism of 
Comte, whose scientific pretensions Mr. 
Huxley ridicules, and whose results Mr. 
Spencer impugns ; third, the identification 
of mind and motion by Mr. Taine, which 
Tyndall, in one of his most eloquent pas- 
sages, says explains nothing, and is, more- 
over, utterly " unthinkable ; " and, fourthly, 
Mr. Spencer's evolutionism, which, in spite 
of the marvellous ingenuity and information 
with which it is wrought out, seems to me, 
after no little study, as it does to others 
more capable than I am of forming a judg- 
ment, after greater study, to be full of un- 
supported assumptions, logical inconsisten- 
cies, and explanations that explain nothing, 
while in its general character it tends to the 
sheerest naturalism. Now, was I right or 
wrong in regarding these systems as specu- 
lative merely, and not scientific ? Am I to 
infer, from your objections to my remarks, 
that The Popular Science Monthly holds 
materialism, atheism, and naturalism to be 
the legitimate outcome of science ? Else 
why am I arraigned for designating them 
as unworthy of science, and as having no 
rightful claims to the name, under which 
their deplorable conclusions are commended 
to the public ? 

My object in these allusions was to indi- 
cate two capital distinctions, which it is al- 
ways important to keep in view when esti- 
mating the scientific validity of a doctrine. 
The first is, that many questions determin- 
able by science are not yet determined by 
it ; and, until they are so determined, are 
to be regarded only as conjectural opinions, 
more or less pertinent or impertinent. Of 
this sort I hold the Nebular, the Darwinian, 
and the Spencerian views to be, i. e., hypoth- 
eses entirely within the domain of scien- 
tific theory, and capable, to a certain ex- 
tent, of explaining the phenomena to which 
they refer ; highly plausible and probable 
even at the first glance; but disputed by 
good authority, and not at all so verified as 
to be admissible into the rank of accredit- 
ed science. They are suppositions to which 
the mind resorts to help it in the reduction 
of certain appearances of Nature to a gen- 
eral law ; and, as such, they may be simple, 
ingenious, and even beautiful ; but thus far 

they are no more than suppositions not 
proved, and therefore not entitled to the 
authority of scientific truth. You are prob- 
ably too familiar with the history of scien- 
tific effort which, like the history of many 
other kinds of intellectual effort, is a history 
of human error not to know that, while 
hypothesis is an indispensable part of good 
method, it is also the part most liable 
to error. The records of astronomical, of 
geological, of physical, of chemical, and of 
biological research, are strewn with the de- 
bris of abandoned systems, all of which once 
had their vogue, but none of which now sur- 
vive and many of which are hardly remem- 
bered. Recall for a moment the Ptolemaic 
cycles and epicycles ; recall Kepler's nine- 
teen different hypotheses, invented and dis- 
carded, before he found the true orbital mo- 
tion of Mars ; recall in geology Werner and 
Hutton, and the Plutonians and the Neptuni- 
ans, superseded by the uniformitarians and 
the catastrophists, and now giving place 
to the evolutionists ; recall in physics the 
many imponderable fluids, including La- 
mark's resonant fluid, that were held to be 
as real as the rocks only a few years ago ; 
recall in chemistry, not to mention the al- 
chemists and phlogistion, a dozen different 
modes of accounting for molecular action ; 
recall in biology the animists and the vital- 
ists, the devotees of plastic forces, of archei, 
of organizing ideas, and of central monads, 
all of them now deemed purely gratuitous 
assumptions that explained nothing, though 
put forth as science. 

Even in regard to the question, so 
much discussed at present, of the gradual 
progression and harmony of being, the old 
monadology of Leibnitz, which endowed 
the ultimate units with varying doses of 
passion, consciousness, and spontaneity, and 
which built up the more complex structures 
and functions of organisms, from the combi- 
nation of these this theory, I say, some- 
what modified and stripped of its mere 
metaphysical phases, could be made quite 
as rational and satisfactory as the more 
modern doctrines of development. Indeed, 
some eminent French philosophs Renou- 
vier, a first-class thinker, among the rest 
have gone back to this notion ; Darwin's 
suggestion of pangenesis, and Mr. Spencer'a 
physiological units, look toward it ; and 



its adherents maintain that, beset with diffi- 
culties as it is, though not more so than 
others, it has yet this merit, that it leaves a 
nay open to speculative thought, alike re- 
moved from the vagaries of mere ontologi- 
cal abstraction and the entire subjection 
of mind to a muddy and brute extraction. 
They might add, also, that this theory 
shows that, in the interpretation of the se- 
rial progress of being, we are not altogether 
shut up to a choice between specific and 
spasmodic creations and his own theory of 
evolution, as Mr. Spencer triumphantly as- 
sumes throughout his argument. Indeed, 
nothing is more easy than to make theories ; 
but the difficulty is to get them adopted in- 
to Nature as the satisfactory reason of her 
processes. But, until they are so adopted, 
they are no more than the scaffolding of sci- 
ence by no means the completed structure. 
Now, have the Darwinian and the Spencerian 
hypotheses been so adopted ? Can we say 
that any questions on which such cautious 
observers and life-long students as Darwin, 
Owen, Huxley, Wallace, and Agassiz, still 
debate, are settled questions ? Prof. Tyn- 
dall, for example, says : " Darwin draws 
heavily upon the scientific tolerance of the 
age ; " and again, that " those who hold the 
doctrine of evolution are by no means ig- 
norant of the uncertainty of their data, and 
they yield no more to it than a provisional 
assent." With what propriety, then, can a 
merely provisional conclusion be erected into 
an assured stand-point whence to assail tra- 
ditionary beliefs as if they were old wives' 
fables ? 

More than that, a theory may be far 
more advanced than any of those ; may be 
able to account satisfactorily for all the phe- 
nomena within its reach, as the Ptolemaic 
theory of the sidereal appearances did, even 
to the prediction of eclipses, or as the ema- 
nation theory of light did, up to the time 
of Dr. Young, and yet turn out altogether 
baseless. Nature is a prodigious quantity 
and a prodigious force ; with all her out- 
ward uniformities she is often more cunning 
than the Sphinx ; and, like Emerson's Brah- 
ma, she may declare to her students 

" They know not well the subtle ways 
I keep, and pass and turn again." 

We have looked into her face a little, 

measured some of her ellipses and angles, 

weighed her gases and dusts, and unveiled 
certain forces, far and near all which are 
glorious things to have done, and some of 
them seemingly miraculous ; but we are still 
only in her outer courts. Humboldt's " Cos- 
mos," written thirty years ago, is said to 
be already an antiquated book ; and Conitc, 
who died but lately, and whom these eyes 
of mine have seen, could hardly pass a col- 
lege examination in the sciences he was sup- 
posed to have classified forever. Let us 
not be too confident, then, that our little 
systems of natural law will not, like other 
systems of thought spoken of by Tennyson, 
" have their day." 

The other distinction I had in mind, in 
my speech, was that, while there are some 
problems accessible to scientific methods, 
there are others that are not ; and, that any 
proffered scientific solution of the latter, 
either negative or affirmative, is most 
likely an imposition. What I meant was 
that science, according to its own confes- 
sion, that is, according to the teachings of 
its most accredited organs, pretends to no 
other function than to the ascertainment of 
the actual phenomena of Nature and their 
constant relations. The sphere of the finite 
and the relative, i. e., of existence, not of 
essence, and of existence in its mutual and 
manifested dependencies in time and space, 
not in its absolute grounds, circumscribes 
and exhausts its jurisdiction. Was I wrong- 
ly taught, Mr. Editor ? Does science assert 
for itself higher and broader pretensions ? 
Does it propose to penetrate the supernatu- 
ral or metaphysical realms, if there be any 
such ? Does it intend to apply its instru- 
ments to the measurement of the infinite, 
and its crucibles to the decomposition of 
the absolute ? 

You, as a man of excellent sense, will 
promptly answer, No ! But, then, I ask, is 
thought, whose expatiations are so restless 
and irrepressible, to be forever shut up to 
the phenomenal and relative ? Is it to be 
forever stifled under a bushel-measure, or 
tied by the legs with a surveyor's chain ? 
May it not make excursions into the field 
of the Probable, and solace itself with moral 
assurances when physical certainties fail ? 
May it not, mounting the winged horse of 
analogy, when the good old drudge-horse 
induction gives out, fly through tracts of 



space and time, not yet laid down on the 
map ? May not some men have insights 
into the working of laws yet unexplored, 
such as Mozart had into the laws of music, 
and Shakespeare into the laws of the hu- 
man heart ? Assuredly you cannot say nay, 
in the name of science, which, as we agree, 
being confined to the phenomenal and rela- 
tive, has no right to pronounce either one 
way or the other, as to what, by supposi- 
tion, lies beyond the phenomenal and rela- 
tive. That supposed beyond may be wholly 
chimerical ; but it is not from science that 
we shall learn the fact, if it be a fact. In 
other words, I contend and here I hit upon 
the prime fallacy of many soi-disant scien- 
tists that science has no right to erect what 
it does contain into a negation of everything 
which it does not contain. Still less has it a 
right to decide questions out of its confessed 
province, because it cannot reach them by 
its peculiar methods, or subject them to its 
peculiar tests ? 

Fortunately for me, though you take me 
especially to task for it, I am sustained in 
this position by some of the most eminent 
men of science of the day, and I may say, 
by great numbers of them, as I have reason 
to know. You yourself published, only a 
little while since, Dr. Carpenter's address, 
as President, to the British Association for 
the Advancement of Science, in which, after 
expounding very clearly man's rightful func- 
tion as " the interpreter of Nature," he said : 
" The science of modern times, however, has 
taken a more special direction. Fixing its 
attention exclusively on the order of Nature, 
it has separated itself wholly from theology, 
whose function it is to seek after its cause. 
.... But, when science, passing beyond its 
own limits, assumes to take the place of the- 
ology and sets up its own conception of the 
order of Nature as a sufficient account of 
its cause, it is invading a province of 
thought to which it has no claim, and not 
unreasonably provokes the hostility of those 
who ought to be its best friends." 

In the same number you published Dr. 
Gray's address, as President of the Ameri- 
can Association, wherein, after quoting Miss 
Cobbe's remark, that " it is a singular fact, 
that when we find out how any thing is done, 
our first conclusion is, that God did not do 
it," he adds, that such a conclusion is "pre- 

mature, unworthy, and deplorable," aud 
concludes with the hope " that, in the fu- 
ture, even more than in the past, faith in an 
order which is the basis of science will not 
(as it cannot be reasonably) be dissevered 
from faith in an ordainer which is the ba- 
sis of religion." And, my old friend, and 
honored teacher, Dr. Dlenry, from whose en- 
thusiasm for natural studies I imbibed what- 
ever taste for them I have retained, in a 
letter addressed to this Tyndall banquet, 
and published in your last number, wrote : 
" While we have endeavored to show that 
abstract science is entitled to high appreci- 
ation and liberal support, we do not claim 
for it the power of solving questions belong- 
ing to other realms of thought. . . . Much 
harm has been done by the antagonism 
which has sometimes arisen between the ex- 
pounders of science on the one hand, and 
those of theology on the other, and we 
would deprecate the tendency which exhib- 
its itself in certain minds to foster feelings 
antagonistic to the researches into the phe- 
nomena of Nature, for fear they should dis- 
prove the interpretations of Holy Writ made 
long before the revelations of physical sci- 
ence, which might serve for a better ex- 
egesis of what has been revealed ; and also 
the tendency in other minds to transcend 
the known, and to pronounce dogmatically 
as to the possibility of modes of existence 
on which physical research has not thrown, 
and we think never can throw, positive light." 
Now, here is precisely, though not all, my 
meaning, and yet you rap me over the 
knuckles for it, while you publish the praises 
of Carpenter, Gray, and Henry. 

All these illustrious men admit the lim- 
its of Science, and also the possibility of 
passing beyond them. As men of good 
common-sense, and no less as philosophers 
and scientists, they are perfectly aware that, 
while the scope of Science lies within the 
contents of experience, and of the induc- 
tions drawn from that experience, it is haz- 
arding the character of it to go further. 
They feel too, no doubt, what I certainly 
do, that there are certain broad, deep, in- 
eradicable instincts of the human mind, 
which, however they originated, whether 
implanted there by creative act, or formed 
by the slow growth of thousands of years, 
are now become the inexpugnable basis of 



all human credence and all human action. 
The convictions of the reality of Nature, 
of the independence of Mind, and of the 
being and authorship of God, in spite of 
every effort of Philosophy to get rid of 
them, either by declaring them unthinka- 
ble, or by merging one in the other, always 
return as the final no less than the initial 
postulates of thought. Any scheme of the 
universe, therefore, which leaves any of 
them out, declares itself impotent, like the 
project of an edifice which makes no pro- 
vision for the corner-stones. Innumerable 
such schemes have gone before, and floated 
as bubbles for a while, but the first touch 
of these Realities broke them into thin air. 

What the relations of these grand pri- 
mal factors of the problem of existence 
are, or how they are to be harmonized with 
each other, we do not know ; perhaps we 
never shall know; but, I think we shall 
learn more and more of them, and, in due 
time, by the instrumentalities that are given 
us. We shall learn of Nature, and of Man, 
so far as he is a dependant and denizen of 
Nature, by that digesting of experience 
which is the peculiar work of science. We 
shall learn of Man, so far as he has a 
deeper spring of life than observation 
reaches, from its wellings-up into conscious- 
ness at those rare moments of insight 
which often seem so mysterious ; and we 
shall learn of God through both ; i. e., as 
he works with the stupendous forces of 
time and space, which symbolize him, and 
as he inspires our feeble loves and wisdoms, 
which are no less symbols of him, with an 
intenser sense of his own supernal love and 

But, we 6hall learn little of either if we 
haughtily and peremptorily dismiss any of 
the elements out of the inquiry. Neither Na- 
ture nor Man is to be understood without 
God, nor can God be apprehended by pure 
intuition alone, or, save as be writes his 
hieroglyphics in objects and events, or im- 
parts new impulses of goodness to the in- 
nermost soul. Tvndall, doubtless, caught a 
glimpse of the inseparableness of these 
elements when he said, " The passage from 
facts to principles is called induction, which, 
in its highest form, is inspiration," ' nor 

1 " Fragments of Science," p. 60. 

was he free from the same overshadowin" 
truth, when, speaking of the possible solu- 
tion of the ultimate physical problem, he re- 
marks that, when it comes, " it will be one 
more of spiritual insight than of observa- 
tion." 1 For, if deity be, as it is some- 
times said, the Spiritual Sun, the intellectual 
Light, he may evade scrutiny, as the com- 
mon light evades vision. It is the condi- 
tion of vision, " the light of all our seeing," 
in which all objects are seen, though itself 
unseen. Besides, we know that, even in 
the common light, there are rays which the 
physical eyes do not see, which the inward 
eyes of reason alone behold, but which, 
if the physical eyes could be made sensitive 
to their swift pulsations, might disclose, ac- 
cording to Tyndall's exquisite suggestion, 
a new heaven and a new earth, immediate- 
ly around us, and " as far surpassing ours 
as ours surpasses that of ' the wallowing 
reptiles which once held possession of this 

Science must not deny the finer rays 
which she cannot see ; she may remain in- 
different to them if she pleases, and is, 
indeed, largely obliged to remain indifferent 
because of the very conditions under which 
she works ; but, while delving in matter, 
there is no reason for getting suffocated by 
its gases, or stifled in its mud. For, in that 
event, the narrowness and dogmatism you 
impute to "the classes still called edu- 
cated," to " the cultivators of sentimental 
literature," and to " college-bred people," 
would be most unquestionably hers ; the 
opposition to freedom and progress of 
thought that you deplore would be hers ; 
and she would lose at once that devotion 
to truth, whithersoever it may lead, which 
is now her proud boast. Indeed, as I ob- 
serve the world, pretension and bigotry are 
not confined to the circles where you dis- 
cover them; there are so-called men of 
science who partake the fault ; and who 
set up their own little area of outlook for 
the sum of God's measureless world. There 
are those who, because they may have at- 
tended a course of lectures on mechanics, 
or compiled a treatise on heat, or performed 
a few simple experiments in chemistry, 
assume, not that wisdom will die with them, 

1 Ibid., p. 100. 


11 1 

but that it was born with them. On the 
strength of these superior qualifications, 
they waive aside all the struggles of man 
after truth, in the past, as so many distem- 
pered dreams, which are about to be dis- 
pelled forever, because they have lit up a 
few farthing candles. Or, as a Buddhist 
poet says, " they are like infants born at 
midnight, who, because they see a sunrise, 
think there was never a yesterday." Let 
you and I, Mr. Editor, not be of the num- 
ber. Let us be assured that som'e truth 
has come a good while ago, that it is com- 
ing still, in many ways, and will come in 
broader and rosier flashes in the future, 
though not to him who ostrich-like buries his 
head in the sand, or muffles his eyes against 
any of its illuminations. 
I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant, 

Parke Godwin. 


Mr. Editor : In Mommsen's " History 
of Rome " one of the greatest intellectual 
productions of the age vol. i., p. SO, Ameri- 
can edition, occurs the following passage : 
" Nothing has hitherto been brought to 
light to warrant the supposition that man- 
kind existed in Italy at a period anterior 
to the knowledge of agriculture and of the 
smelting of metals ; and, if the human race 
ever within the bounds of Italy really oc- 
cupied the level of that primitive stage of 
culture which we are accustomed to call 
the savage state, every trace of such a fact 
has disappeared." 

Surprised at such a passage in such a 
book, I read it repeatedly, to be sure of its 
meaning. It seems to be plain enough. 
The statement is unwarranted ; and, seeing 
that it is a negative one, it could hardly 
have been justifiable at the time it was 
written probably twenty years ago. But, 
however that may be, it is certainly an over- 
sight to retain it in the later editions with- 
out explanation. 

Traces of early peoples who were savage 
in the extreme are plenty in many parts of 
Italy, even in the vicinity of Rome. Primi- 
tive stone weapons abound at Ponte Molle, 

Torre di Quinto, and Acqua Traversa, on the 
right bank of the Tiber. They are found 
in Liguria, and everywhere in what was 
Middle Etruria. Flint weapons of the rudest 
type are found in the lowermost beds of 
lava in ancient Latium. The like traces of 
a savage population are found at Imola, 
Casalvieri, and Alatri, in the neighborhood 
of Naples ; at Ascoli, near Ancona ; on 
Mount Brandon, in the vicinity of Ascoli, 
and on an island near Monticelli ; in the ter- 
ritory of Borgo Ticino, on the plain of 
Yercelli-Borgo, and in the turf-pits of Mer- 
curago .and San Giovanni ; in the region 
of San Germano, near Pinerolo, between 
the Tarnaro and Barrido, and on the right 
bank of the Agogna, in the territory of 
Briga ; and in many other localities. 

These relics consist mostly of hatchets 
and arrow or javelin points of flint and com- 
mon greenstone. They are of all grades 
of workmanship, from the most rude to the 
most polished, and such is the variety in 
this respect that B. Gastaldi, who has thor- 
oughly studied the specimens, believes that, 
if the usual division of the Stone Period 
into the Paleolithic and Neolithic (rough 
and polished stone) Ages be admissible, 
these relics would justify a further division 
of the Neolithic into two ages, according to 
the grade of workmanship. 

Prof. Issel believes the evidence quite 
sufficient to show that the Ligurians re- 
mained stone-using savages, without knowl- 
edge of the metals, up to the time of their 
subjugation by the Celts and Romans. 

It is trite to observe that unqualified 
statements resting wholly on negative sup- 
port are unsafe. Still the learned continue 
to make them. This of Mommsen's reminds 
one of Renan's archaeologico-poetic assump- 
tion that the Egyptian civilization had no 
foreground of preparation. This appears 
very funny in the light of evolution. Wheth- 
er the Egyptians were autochthones of the 
Nile or not, their civilization had a long pe- 
riod of beginnings just as certainly as 
the Hellenic had ; and late discoveries, of 
what are believed by some of the highest 
authorities to be flint implements, indicate 
that Egypt was once inhabited by the 
rudest of savages. It is not safe to affirm 
of any spot on earth which has been long 
enough above water, that it has not been in- 



aabited by people in the stone-using phase 
jf life. J. S. Patterson. 

Beelin Heights, Onio. 


Mr. Editor : The inquiry respecting the 
way in which 6piders bridge chasms and 
streams, which is made in the note with 
the above heading, upon page 635 of the 
March number of this journal, has been 
often and satisfactorily answered by Eng- 
lish writers, 1 and the following is given 
merely as a confirmation of their more ex- 
tended observations : 

In March, 1866, I had taken a living 
male and female JSFephila plumipes (some- 
times called the " silk-spider of South Caro- 
lina") to the photographic establishment 
of Mr. Whipple, of Boston ; while waiting 
for the taking of their pictures, and stand- 
ing about six feet from the wire frame upon 
which was extended the female's web, I saw 
the little male suddenly cease climbing about 
the frame, and take position upon its upper 
margin; in a few seconds a silken thread 
floated near me ; I allowed it to adhere to 
my sleeve ; the spider then turned about, 
and made several vigorous pulls upon the 
line, as if to ascertain its fixity of attach- 
ment ; when satisfied of this, he rapidly 
made his way toward me, but, in order to 
observe the act again, I hung my end of the 
line over the frame, so that he was left 
where he started ; after a few turns he took 
position as before, with his abdomen ele- 
vated and directed toward the spot I had 
occupied ; presently a fine line shot out 
from his spinners, and pursued an undulat- 
ing course until it reached beyond the spot 
I had occupied, and began to rise toward 
the large ventilating cupola in the centre of 
the room ; the spider would occasionally 
turn and try the line as before, but it did 
not become attached, and he did not em- 
bark upon it. 

Feeling now quite sure that the current 
of air toward the ventilator both deter- 
mined the spider's preparatory action and 
the progress of the line, I removed this line, 

1 Blackball, " Spiders of Great Britain and Ire- 
land" (Introduction, p. 11); Journal of Proceedings 
of Linnajan Society, vol. vii. ; Transactions of Lin- 
na;an Society, vol. xv., p. 455. 

and blew gently upon the spider in the op- 
posite direction ; he immediately turned 
about, elevated the abdomen as before, with 
the wind, and soon a line was carried in this 
direction for as long and as far as my breath 
could reach, and no farther. This was 
repeated with the same result in various 
directions. The extremity of the line 
appeared blunt and a little enlarged, which 
is in accordance with the view of Black- 
wall respecting the way in which it is start- 
ed : 

"The extremities of the spinners are 
brought into contact, and viscid matter is 
emitted from the papillae; they are then 
separated by a lateral motion, which ex- 
tends the viscid matter into filaments con- 
necting the papillae; on these filaments the 
current of air impinges, drawing them out 
to a length which is regulated by the will 
of the animal, and, on the extremities of 
the spinners being brought together, the 
filaments coalesce, and form one compound 
line. ... If placed upon rods set upright 
in glass vessels with perpendicular sides, and 
containing clear water, they in vain attempt 
to escape from them in a still atmosphere. . . . 
" The lines produced by spiders are not 
propelled from the spinners by any physical 
power possessed by those animals, but are 
invariably drawn from them by the mechan- 
ical action of external forces." 

It is not so very strange that an Ameri- 
can journal should reproduce the note which 
suggested this communication, without in- 
corporating the desired information, since 
very few papers upon spiders have appeared 
in this country; but the conductors of 
Ilardwicke's Science Gossip, in which it first 
appeared, must have been strangely ob- 
livious of the already-quoted English ac- 
counts of the subject. 

But this oversight is pardonable when 
compared to what occurred in Scribner's 
Monthly for May, 1872, in an account of 
spiders, evidently a compilation. The com- 
mon garden spider is represented head up- 
ward in the centre of a web composed of 
concentric circles. Now, every one that has 
really examined a so-called geometrical web 
knows that it consists of a spiral line, and 
never of circles ; and also knows that the 
Epeiridai are as averse to reposing head up- 
ward as human beings are to assuming the 



reverse position ; they invariably hang in 
the web head downward. 

Surely it is a little incongruous that a 
magazine which lectures The Popular Sci- 
ence Monthly for occupying too much space 
with such " pseudo-science " as that " most 

high-flown speculation," Evolution, should 
expend money as well as space for an en- 
graving which is not only controverted by 
every accurate observation, but which might 
have been corrected by a glance into Web- 

ster's Unabridged. 

Burt G. "Wilder. 



THE idea suggested by this title has 
long been with many a matter of 
vague and distant anticipation ; but 
there is promise that something of the 
kind may soon become a realized fact. 
Eather, perhaps, we are to have a high- 
class Teachers' Institute on a strictly 
scientific basis. Professor Agassiz is 
expected to open, next summer, a 
school of natural history for the 
benefit of teachers during their vaca- 
tion. He has associated with him 
twenty professors of high character to 
carry out the plan, and the object is, to 
afford ample facilities for studying spe- 
cimens and becoming familiar with the 
actual properties and relations of living 
things. In an address before a com- 
mittee of the Massachusetts Legislature 
on the claims of the Cambridge Mu- 
seum of Comparative Zoology, Prof. 
Agassiz explained the nature and pur- 
pose of the contemplated project, which 
is kindred to the object for which the 
museum itself was founded. Educa- 
tion must have its storehouses of im- 
plements. For philosophy, history, and 
literature, public libraries are estab- 
lished, because these subjects are to be 
studied by means of books. But, in 
science, books are not sufficient ; speci- 
mens are indispensable. "We want, 
said Prof. Agassiz, to educate men who 
shall be able to read Nature, and this 
can only be done by studious familiarity 
with natural objects. The school is to 
carry out this plan. Nantucket Island 
has been selected as the location, and 
provision is made for-a very thorough 
vol. in. 8 

and comprehensive course of instruc- 

This idea is certainly capable of ex- 
tension, and the time, we think, has 
come when it should be taken up and 
carried out in different parts of the 
country. The Nantucket scheme could 
not be copied in the interior, because 
one-half of its subjects pertain to the 
natural history of the sea. The scheme 
is constructed from Prof. Agassiz's 
point of view, and is devoted mainly to 
zoology. The botany of land-plants is 
not included ; entomology gets but lit- 
tle attention, and physics none at all. 
This is not intimated as a deficiency of , 
the programme, which is sufficiently 
broad, and lays out more work than 
there will be time to do it in. It is 
evidently designed for the advantage 
of professors and teachers of science in 
educational institutions who already 
know something of the subjects, and 
desire the opportunity of perfecting 
their knowledge of natural history un- 
der the ablest instructors. 

But the time has come for entering 
upon similar arrangements in behalf 
of the multitude of teachers in our 
common schools. "We have normal 
schools for their preparation, but they 
are fashioned upon the old academic 
and collegiate pattern, and furnish only 
a book-education. The little science 
they pretend to give is book-science, 
and not the knowledge of things. 
Throughout nearly all of the common 
schools of the country, physics, chem- 
istry, botany, and zoology, are taught, 
if taught at all, by the same method as 

u 4 


history or Latin that is, by committing 
and reciting lessons from books. It is 
universally admitted that this is ab- 
surd, but what to do about it is the 
difficulty. The system is self-perpetu- 
ating. The normal schools go on in 
the old ruts, and continue to furnish 
teachers of the old type. Higher 
standards of attainment may be ex- 
acted in the routine branches, and there 
is unquestionably some improvement in 
methods; but little is done to bring 
the minds of pupils into familiar rela- 
tions with Nature. Scarcely any thing 
is done for the thorough cultivation 
of the observing powers by exercising 
them upon objects and experiments. In 
response to the demand for studying 
Nature, we have only the rude expe- 
dient of object-lessons for children, ad- 
ministered by teachers who know noth- 
ing of physical science on the one 
hand, nor the science of the growing 
mind on the other. 

What we want in every State in the 
Union is what Prof. Agassiz is prepar- 
ing to supply in Massachusetts, an op- 
portunity for teachers to come together, 
where there are cabinets, laboratories, 
specimens, and experiments, and an 
able corps of instructors who are at 
home with all these resources, and can 
teach directly from Nature herself. If 
the vacation-weeks only are to be de- 
voted to this work, the scheme of 
studies will require to be drawn up 
with strict reference to their urgent 
and practical requirements. Nantucket 
will be favorable for studying the zoo- 
logical productions of the sea ; but Na- 
ture is an inexhaustible museum, and 
every place abounds with the material 
for the illustration of scientific study. 
The air, the fields, the woods, and the 
streams, swarm with life ; the rocks 
are uncovered, minerals abound; the 
earth is carpeted with vegetation, the 
forces of Nature are ever playing 
around us, while every family, school, 
church, factory, poor-house, jail, neigh- 
borhood, and village, affords materials 

for the scientific study of social phe- 
nomena and laws. What is needed is, 
to teach teachers to bring their minds 
to bear directly upon those things, to 
observe, compare, and analyze them, 
so that their knowledge may be real, 
positive, and worthy the name of sci- 
ence. It may not be easy to found a 
proper curriculum for a scientific teach- 
ers' institute, selecting just the proper 
subjects, and assigning them their 
due proportions ; yet the work is 
entirely practicable, and experience 
would soon fix the adjustments. As a 
preliminary step to such a movement, 
nothing could be better than a national 
convention of teachers, professors, and 
school superintendents, called for the 
distinctive purpose of laying down the 
plan and organizing the means for the 
promotion of scientific education. Prof. 
Agassiz has broken the ice, and will 
show us what it is possible to do in this 
direction during a single vacation. His 
enterprise is a national movement, and 
at once raises the important question 
as to how similar advantages may be 
gained for the general ^education of the 

Since the above article was put into 
type, an important change has taken 
place in Prof. Agassiz's programme. 
He has been presented with an island 
as a location for his school, and with a 
$50,000 endowment to assist in defray- 
ing its expenses. The donor is Mr. 
John Anderson, of New York, and the 
island of 100 acres, known as Penikese, 
is one of the Elizabeth group, near 
New Bedford, four miles from the 
main-land, and twenty-four miles from 
Newport. It has been the summer 
residence of Mr. Anderson, and con- 
tains such buildings and improvements 
as a wealthy occupant would construct 
for purposes of residence. What the 
effect of this change will be upon the 
original plan is yet problematical, but 
it can hardly fail to be considerable. 
We see it stated that $30,000 addi- 



tional is required to erect suitable 
buildings, and $200,000 more to raise 
the endowment to the point necessary 
for carrying out Prof. Agassiz's plans. 
If these arrangements be consummated, 
a Natural History school of high char- 
acter and large usefulness cannot fail 
to be the result. How far it will be 
organized in the interest of original 
scientific investigations, or in the gen- 
eral interests of education, or to what 
degree both objects will be combined, 
remains to be seen. It is to be hoped 
that Mr. Anderson's generosity will 
prove contagious, and that not only 
will Prof. Agassiz be furnished with 
the funds he requires, but that men of 
wealth in different parts of tho coun- 
try will contribute to kindred enter- 
prises in their own localities. For the 
organization of such Scientific Teach- 
ers' Institutes as we have suggested, 
large sums of money would not be re- 
quired. Buildings can be found suit- 
able for school sessions, lectures, and 
demonstrations, and no care or outlay 
would be necessary to provide for the 
living of students and professors. The 
expenses to be incurred would be only 
for the liberal remuneration of the pro- 
fessorial corps, and for the various 
scientific appliances needed to illus- 
trate the teaching. The project is 
feasible, if there i3 sufficient interest 
in the subject to carry it out. 


We publish an able communication 
from Mr. Parke Godwin, called forth 
by our strictures, in the April Monthly, 
on his speech at the Tyndall Banquet, 
and restating, with more fulness, the 
views there expressed. With much 
that he says we cordially agree, and, 
had the position to which we mainly 
objected been originally stated as it is 
now, there would have been less occa- 
sion for criticism. In his address, after 
some remarks on the great results of 

modern science, Mr. Godwin said : 
"But it is real science, with its rigid 
restrictions to its own sphere and its 
exact methods, and not any pseudo- 
science, that will accomplish these 
grand results." He then gave exam- 
ples, and classed among them the doc- 
trine of Evolution as interpreted by 
Herbert Spencer. But, in his present 
communication, Mr. Godwin admits 
that " the nebular, the Darwinian, and 
the Spencerian views are hypotheses 
quite within the domain of scientific 
theory, and capable, to a certain ex- 
tent, of explaining the phenomena to 
which they refer." He allows their 
legitimacy, which is what we contend- 
ed for; but he denies that they are 
fairly-accredited scientific truths, and 
here we suspect he is again mistaken. 

What, then, are we to understand 
by scientific truth ? Mr. Godwin inven- 
tories the chimeras of the past, and, 
pointing to the debris of abandoned 
theories which strew the road of sci- 
ence, admonishes us not "to be too 
confident that our little systems of nat- 
ral law will not, like other systems of 
thought referred to by Tennyson, have 
their day." The lesson is a wholesome 
one ; but are scientists the parties that 
most need it ? Is it they that are for- 
ever affirming "finalities," "absolute 
verities," and " eternal principles ? " 
In what school are men so trained to 
distrust themselves, and to hold their 
views subject to constant revision, as 
in the school of science ? Is it not ever 
seeking to supersede existing truth by 
larger truth ? Chemistry reposes upon 
its ascertained elements, but chemists 
are prepared to see them at any time 
abolished or resolved into a single one, 
and in that case the gentlemen of the 
laboratory would be the first to throw 
up their hats in exultation. Even the 
principle of gravity is not held as a 
finality : Faraday labored for its rein- 
terpretation, and, should it disappear 
in some larger generalization of dy- 
namical law, physicists will not go in- 



to mourning. In science, the passing 
away of systems is generally an absorp- 
tion of lesser into more comprehen- 
sive laws. The question of the truth 
of a new scientific theory is not as to 
its everlastingness, but as to its supe- 
riority to the views it seeks to super- 
sede. Does it involve fewer assump- 
tions ? Does it account for more facts ? 
Does it harmonize conflicting opinion? 
Does it open new inquiries and incite 
to fresh research ? These are the tests 
that determine the acceptance of the 
theory, and, if it fulfils these condi- 
tions, it is held to be true. 

Now, how does the doctrine of 
Evolution answer to these tests? It 
has arisen as an outgrowth of the latest 
and highest knowledge, has steadily 
made its way, in the teeth of inexo- 
rable criticism, to a large acceptance 
among the most disciplined thinkers 
of the period. It has been simmering 
in the minds of men of science for a 
century, and has now reached a point 
where it is capable of being formu- 
lated ; where it is of great and ac- 
knowledged value for the guidance of 
scientific exploration, and it thus an- 
swers to the highest uses of theory. 
It is, moreover, becoming every day in- 
creasingly consonant with facts in the 
various branches of science, and is now 
far more congruous with the state of 
knowledge than any other hypothesis 
yet applied to the range of facts which 
it attempts to explain. The proof of 
the theory is unquestionably incom- 
plete, but all theories are accepted un- 
der the same conditions. At the worst, 
it stands to-day where the theory of 
gravitation stood in the time of New- 
ton, which, as Baden Powell remarks, 
"was beset by palpable contradictions 
in its results till many years after New- 
ton's death." 

On a complex and difficult scientific 
question of this kind, authority goes for 
something, and Mr. Godwin recognizes 
it. He remarks : " Can we say that any 
questions, on which such cautious ob- 

servers and life-long students as Dar- 
win, Owen, Huxley, Wallace, and Ag- 
assiz, still debate, are settled ques- 
tions?" Certainly not ; but, when their 
fundamental principles are accepted by 
four out of five of the eminent authori- 
ties which are cited as differing about 
them, we must acknowledge that the 
weight of authority is very strongly on 
one side. Nor is this all. The eminent 
scientific men who have adopted the 
view of Evolution, and that, too, against 
the powerful pressure of public preju- 
dice, are to be numbered by scores and 
hundreds. In fact, the movement among 
naturalists, for the last ten years, tow- 
ard a general doctrine of development, 
has amounted almost to a "stampede." 
This is not mere unsupported assertion. 
Here comes the latest scientific book 
of the season, " The Depths of the 
Sea," by the eminent Professor of Nat- 
ural History in the University of Edin- 
burgh, Wyville Thompson, and he says : 
" I do not think that I am speaking too 
strongly when I say that there is now 
scarcely a single competent general 
naturalist who is not prepared to ac- 
cept some form of the doctrine of Evo- 
lution." Prof. Agassiz, indeed, still 
clings to his long-cherished opinions; 
but it is notorious that, on this ques- 
tion, his old students are running away 
from him, and his hypothesis, that 
there is an epidemic aberration upon 
this subject among the naturalists of 
the age, will hardly be held as a suffi- 
cient explanation of the phenomena. 
On the basis, therefore, of the judgment 
of the great body of those most compe- 
tent to form an opinion, we cannot help 
thinking that Mr. Godwin was not 
only in error when he characterized 
the theory of Evolution as counterfeit 
science ; but that he is also in error 
when he declares it to be a fugitive 
speculation, and not an accredited 
principle, entitled to the weight of 
valid scientific authority. 

But, aside from the question of au- 
thority, Mr. Godwin argues against the 



validity of biological and psychological 
sciences on the intrinsic ground that 
they lack exactitude. It would have 
been a point gained for his argument 
to enforce the test of exactness, as then 
these sciences would pass under a cloud 
of discredit. But the test cannot be 
accepted. His method of criticism 
would throttle every science in its 
growing stages before completeness of 
demonstration had been attained. He 
insists upon a criterion which would 
abolish half the sciences and strip the 
remainder of all validity and authority 
except in their perfected forms. Re- 
ferring to his address, he remarks : 

" But then, I said and it was the whole 
purport of my speech made in the interests 
of science as well as religion that we can 
only expect these results from true science, 
which investigates what Nature really is, and 
not from a hasty and presumptuous science, 
which pretends to give us what Nature may 
be supposed to he. And my criterion of true 
science, suggested in a phrase, was, that the 
methods and results of it bear the impress 
of exactitude or certainty." 

Now, nothing is more certain than 
that we can never arrive at what Na- 
ture really is except through the path- 
way of " what Nature may be supposed 
to 5e." All science begins with guesses 
and conjectures, and its most valid laws 
were at first but suppositions. The 
evidence by which scientific truth is 
determined necessarily involves suppo- 
sitions to which it has been applied, 
and these have to be gradually con- 
firmed; hence, if exactitude is demand- 
ed at the outset, all science becomes 

To get at the full bearing of this 
matter we quote the original passage 
as it stands in the revised address of 
the proceedings at the Tyndall Banquet. 
It reads : 

" Science is exact and certain, and author- 
itative, because dealing with facts, and the 
systematic coordination of facts only. She 
does not wander away into the void inane. 
She has nothing to do with questions of pri- 
mal origin, nor of ultimate destinies ; -not 

because they are unimportant questions or 
insoluble, but because they transcend her 
instruments and her methods. You cannot 
measure love by the bushel, as the children 
say; you cannot catch fancy in a forceps 
to analyze its elements; you cannot fuse 
thought in a crucible to detect what may be 
dross, and what sound metal." 

We think that Mr. Godwin here 
lends countenance to a prevailing fal- 
lacy. Science is perpetually bidden to 
keep within her sphere, and the popu- 
lar notion of her sphere is that of ex- 
perimentation. To most people the 
word science connotes physical or ex- 
perimental science. On this tacit as- 
sumption Mr. Godwin declares that 
cubic measure, forceps, and crucibles, 
are not applicable to love, fancy, and 
thought. Most true; but will he main- 
tain that these are therefore not ame- 
nable to scientific scrutiny? As we 
understand it, science is a knowledge of 
the constitution of things ; of the uni- 
formities of the phenomena of Nature. 
Whatever, in the universe around us, 
or in the world within us, is open to 
cognition, which can be examined and 
known, and reexamined and verified, 
is the proper subject-matter of science, 
and the term is applied to all the knowl- 
edge that has been arrived at in this 
way. An emotion may be analyzed 
and understood as well as a mineral. 
Love, fancy, and thought, cannot be 
subjected to laboratory processes, but 
they may be known in their laws and 
relations as mental phenomena, and in 
this aspect they belong as strictly to 
science as metals or gases. That they 
cannot be weighed makes no difference, 
because exactness is not the criterion 
of science. Mr. Godwin asks, Where, 
then, does the inexactness come in ? To 
which we reply, wherever the instru- 
ments, by which exactness is reached, 
are inapplicable, or can only be imper- 
fectly applied. The best criterion of 
science is derived from the fact of or- 
der and uniformity in Nature by which 
one thing implies another, and we in- 



fer from what has heen what will be 
again. It is prevision, that is, such a 
perception of the properties and rela- 
tions of things as will enable us to see 
beforehand what effects will be pro- 
duced in different times, places, and 
circumstances. Phenomena that elude 
measurement may yet occur with such 
regularity as to be foreseen with cer- 
tainty. There is, in fact, a qualitative 
science which precedes quantitative, for 
properties must be known before they 
can be measured, but the test of pre- 
vision applies to the lower or qualita- 
tive stage as well as to the higher. 
Because biology, psychology, and soci- 
ology are not, and never can be, exact 
sciences, is therefore no reason for im- 
pugning their results as untrustworthy 
or without authority. 

"We quite agree with Mr. Godwin 
that Science is inexorably shut up in 
the finite and the phenomenal the 
sphere of relation and law : but she 
must have the liberty of the whole do- 
main. Nor do we think there is much 
danger of Science wasting her energies 
in trying to transcend these bounds, 
for she has plenty to do to get even 
partial possession of what confessedly 
belongs to her. She has won her 
ground, inch by inch, by hard fighting 
from the beginning, and even yet it is 
conceded to her only in name. Every- 
body will admit that it is the right of 
Science to inquire into all changes and 
effects in physical Nature. Yet, for 
suggesting that a given class of alleged 
physical effects be inquired into in the 
same manner as are other effects, Prof. 
Tyndall has been posted through Chris- 
tendom as a blasphemer. Mr. Godwin 
yields to Science the realm of the finite 
and the relative, and in the same breath 
he speaks of the relations of Mozart to 
the laws of music, and of Shakespeare 
to the laws of the human heart, as ex- 
amples of the trans-phenomenal. But 
we thought laws and relations had been 
made over to science. No reservation 
will here be tolerated. Science is pro- 

viding for its ever-increasing army of 
research through a long future. Half 
a thousand years have been spent in 
getting on the track ; another thousand 
will suffice to get under headway ; she 
stipulates now only for room. Her 
sphere is the finite, but the nebulosities 
of ignorance must not be mistaken for 
the walls of the infinite. If mystics 
will lose themselves in the tangled re- 
cesses of unresolved phenomena, they 
must expect to be hunted out and have 
the place reclaimed to order and an- 
nexed to the provinces of all-harmon- 
izing law. Nor can any pretext that 
they are nested in the unapproachable 
essences and subtleties of being, and 
ensphered in the absolute, and guarded 
by cunning sphinxes, avail them. The 
thing must inexorably be inquired of. 
It is the destiny of Science to pierce the 
unknown ; if her spear is blunted upon 
the unknowable, she will of course ac- 
cept the results of the experiment. 

But, though scientists are hopelessly 
closed in, Mr. Godwin does not despair 
of others getting out, and he asks: "Is 
thought, whose expatiations are so rest- 
less and irrepressible, to be forever shut 
up to the phenomenal and relative ? 
Is it to be forever stifled under a bushel- 
measure, or tied up by the legs with a 
surveyor's chain ? " But the phenom- 
enal and the relative go a great ways. 
Mr. Godwin talks as if "God's meas- 
ureless world " were a stifling prison. 
We have been reminded that "Nature 
is a prodigious quantity," and we are 
so strongly impressed with this truth 
that we do not like Mr. Godwin's fig- 
ure, of a "bushel-measure" to symbol- 
ize its extent, any more than we like 
his favorite figure of " mud " to sym- 
bolize its quality. As to his question 
whether thought is to be tied by the 
legs with a surveyor's chain, we suspect 
that it is " tied " by something a good 
deal stronger tlian that : namely, by 
the laws of its own nature. He is 
skeptical about the science of psychol- 
ogy, and asks for its agreements. The 



question we are now considering may 
be taken as an example. It is pretty 
well agreed by the latest schools that, 
as the universe exists in relations, so 
thought is carried on in relations, and, 
by its very constitution, cannot tran- 
scend them. It is agreed that as music 
in all its inexhaustible complications is 
still made up by the combination of 
simple wave -pulses, so intelligence, in 
all the range of its complications, is 
made up of the combination of per- 
ceived relations ; and we might as well 
talk of the higher exploits of musical 
art as transcending the vibrations of 
which they are constituted, as of the 
"restless expatiations" of thought tran- 
scending the relations of which mind 
is constituted. Sir William Hamilton 
is fair authority, and he says : "Limi- 
tation is the fundamental law of the 
possibility of thought. For, as the 
greyhound cannot outstrip his shadow, 
nor the eagle outsoar the atmosphere 
in which he floats, and by which alone 
he may be supported ; so the mind can- 
not transcend that sphere of limitation 
within and through which exclusively 
the possibility of thought is realized." 
We therefore fear that, should any 
adventurer break bounds on a winged 
horse, and take his flight through the 
ultra - phenomenal tracts, the tidings 
wafted back would prove altogether 

Mr. Godwin says : " Am I to infer 
from your objections to my remarks 
that The Popular Science Monthly 
holds materialism, atheism, and natu- 
ralism, to be the legitimate outcome of 
science ? " Exactly the contrary. We 
do not believe that the legitimate out- 
come of science is materialism or athe- 
ism, and our attempt was to show that 
certain problems and procedures, which 
Mr. Godwin declared to be spurious 
science and obnoxious to these charges, 
were genuine science, and not obnox- 
ious to them. We objected, in order to 
rescue a portion of science from an as- 
persive charge to which all science is 

equally liable. Buchner may bo a ma- 
terialist, and Comto an atheist, and 
Taine may be both, although it does not 
follow, because he affirms the correla- 
tion of mind with nervous motion, that 
he is either. What moved us to pro- 
test was the gross injustice of branding 
Mr. Spencer's expositions of the doc- 
trine of Evolution as sham science, and 
then loading it with the opprobrium 
which its associations and the argu- 
ment implied. Of Spencer's system, 
Mr. Godwin says, on his own and 
higher authority, that it is "full of 
unsupported assumptions, logical in- 
consistencies, and explanations which 
explain nothing, while in its general 
character it tends to the sheerest natu- 
ralism." We do not deny that it con- 
tains defects it would be, indeed, sur- 
prising if so vast and original a dis- 
cussion did not ; but to say that it is 
"full" of the vices alleged, or that 
they characterize it, is a reckless ex- 
aggeration. As a set-off to this opin- 
ion, we refer the reader back to page 
32, where he will find the latest esti- 
mate of Mr. Spencer's philosophy by a 
man who is an authority upon the 
question he discusses. 

As to the religious "tendencies" of 
the system, although they are charged 
with being all that is bad, and although 
the charge would undoubtedly be sus- 
tained by a popular vote, we are of 
opinion that it is bound to be very dif- 
ferently viewed in the future. Mr. 
Spencer is a profound believer in re- 
ligion, and at the very threshold of his 
system he has shown the ultimate har- 
mony of science and faith. Yet he 
has not tried merely to patch up a 
transient truce between religion and 
science ; but, foreseeing the intenser 
conflicts that are inevitable as science 
advances, he has labored to place their 
reconciliation upon a basis that no 
extension of knowledge can disturb. 
When tho method of science is raised 
to its rightful supremacy in the human 
mind, and the rule of science is reeog- 



nized as supreme throughout the sphere 
of the phenomenal, and when the dis- 
tractions of theology become unbear- 
able, it will then be found that Mr. 
Spencer has proved that science, so far 
from being its destroyer, is itself the 
promoter of the profoundest faith, 
while the central truth of all religion 
is saved to humanity. Malignant zeal- 
ots will probably continue to secrete 
their vitriolic criticism, as, if stopped, 
they would probably die of their own 
acridities ; but there are not wanting 
indications that many religious men of 
candor and discernment are already 
recognizing the claims of Mr. Spencer's 
system upon the serious consideration 
of their class. For example, a late 
number of the Nonconformist, the or- 
gan of the English dissenters, and an 
orthodox paper of high influence, says 
of Spencer: " He is not an idealist, nor 
is he a materialist. Like Goethe, he 
believes that man is not born to solve 
the problem which the universe pre- 
sents." Yet the writer holds his views 
to be of very great importance, and 
speaks of it as " an importance, in our 
opinion, so great, that the future, not 
only of English philosophy, but of prac- 
tical theology, will be determined by 
its acceptance or rejection." 

As for ourselves, differing widely 
from Mr. Godwin in his estimate of 
Spencer's system of philosophy, we 
record our opinion that, as it becomes 
more fully known, it will be recognized 
as an unequalled performance in its rig- 
orous conformity to scientific method, 
and as the first grand alliance of sci- 
ence and philosophy; that it will exert 
an all-reconciling influence upon the 
chaos of doctrine ; that, while based 
upon progress, it will prove powerfully 
conservative, and will leave all other 
systems behind in its value for guid- 
ance, both to the individual and the 
state. We believe that the time is not 
greatly distant when even theologians 
will seek it as a shelter against the ris- 
ing tide of "materialism" and "athe- 

ism ; " and, finally, we predict that, 
if Mr. Spencer lives to complete his 
" Principles of Sociology," with the 
accompanying tabular scheme of " De- 
scriptive Sociology," that which Mr. 
Godwin says is now only a "hope" 
will become an assured and authori- 
tative science which is certainly one 
of the most imminent desiderata of 


Education in Japan. A Series of Letters 
Addressed by Prominent Americans to 
Arinori Mori. New York: D. Apple- 
ton k Co., 1873. 255 pages. 

And now Japan comes forward to con- 
found the theories of publicists, and give a 
new problem to political philosophers. An 
ancient Oriental nation, with a history 
stretching over 2,500 years, and claiming 
the oldest dynasty in the world, containing 
34,000,000 people, and which has long been 
shut out from the world by its exclusive 
system, now throws open its gates to inter- 
course with other nations, and raises the 
great question as to how it may best ac- 
quire the highest benefits of civilization. 
Its youths are sent away to be educated 
(there are some 300 in this country), 
and learned foreigners are sent for, that 
the modern arts and sciences may be ac- 
quired, and there are even indications that 
this proud and exclusive people meditate 
a change of language, and the adoption of 
English in place of their native speech. 
The Japanese envoy at Washington, Mr. 
Arinori Mori, a liberal and well-educated 
young gentleman twenty seven years of age, 
has addressed a circular letter to a large 
number of the distinguished men of this 
country, asking their views and advice as 
to how the Japanese can best gain the ad- 
vantages of education, free commerce, and 
enlightened industry, and best improve the 
social, moral, and physical condition of the 
Japanese people. The present volume em- 
bodies the replies which he received from 
Presidents Woolsey, Stearns, Hopkins, 
McCosh, Eliot, Profs. Seelye, Henry, Mur- 
ray, Northrup, Whitney, the Bev. O. Pe- 
rinchief, and the Honorables G. S. Bout- 



well, J. A. Garfield, and Mr. Peter Cooper. 
Their replies are not only interesting as fur- 
nishing the information required for its 
practical objects, but they are also interest- 
ing as illustrating the way American scholar- 
ship engages with this novel and curious 
sociological problem. Mr. Mori has pre- 
pared an introduction to the volume, giving 
an historical sketch of Japan, and some ac- 
count of the present condition of its govern- 
ment, religion, language, and people. 

Diseases op the Urinary Organs, includ- 
ing Stricture of the Urethra, Affections 
of the Prostate, and Stone in the Blad- 
der. By John W. S. Gopley, M. D. 
With One Hundred and Three Wood 
Engravings. New York : William Wood 
& Co., 1873. 

Amid the flood of medical works an- 
nually poured out for the doctor's guidance, 
it is a pleasure to find occasionally one that 
deals, in a clear and straightforward way, 
with the subject in hand, and is not encum- 
bered with the endless theories and specu- 
lations of which medical writers are so pro- 
lific. The book before us is one of these 
exceptional productions in medical litera- 
ture. It is in no sense a compilation, but 
embodies the results of an extended expe- 
rience, both in private practice and in the 
hospitals of this city. Yet, while thus 
mainly founded on personal observation, 
the claims and teachings of the many emi- 
nent men who have illustrated this depart- 
ment of surgery have not been overlooked. 
The author does not undertake to go over 
the whole of this important department of 
medicine, but modestly limits himself to a few 
of the graver surgical affections of the male 
urinary organs, giving the pathology, clin- 
ical history, and treatment of each, with full 
and explicit directions for the various op- 
erations involved. Whenever the use of in- 
struments is called for, he urges, with em- 
phatic earnestness, the necessity for the ut- 
most care in their employment ; and this, to 
our minds, is not the least valuable feature 
of the book, since it is well known that 
these and other diseases are often seriously 
aggravated, and not unfrequently put be- 
yond the reach of cure, by the bungling 
manipulations of over-confident and care- 
less operators. Dr. Gouley's abilities as a 
practitioner are unquestioned, his success 

as a teacher has also been amply proved, 
and the present work gives evidence, both 
in matter and style, that he is entitled to 
rank equally high as a clear and instructive 

The Microscope and Microscopical Tech- 
nology. A Text-Book for Physicians 
and Students. By Dr. Heinrich Fret. 
Translated from the German, and edited 
by George R. Cutter, M. D. New York : 
William Wood & Co., 1872. 

We welcome the appearance, in an Eng- 
lish dress, of Frey's excellent work. It 
covers a far wider field than Martin's book, 
noticed in a recent number of The Popular 
Science Monthly ; indeed, the entire sub- 
ject of microscopy and microscopical instru- 
ments is treated by Dr. Frey. The author 
devotes one-third of his work to the descrip- 
tion of microscopic instruments, the testing 
of them, and their uses. To the section on 
" Testing the Microscope," the translator 
appends a few pages of original matter, giv 
ing the history of microscope-manufacture 
in the United States. He shows that micro- 
scopes of American manufacture possess all 
the excellences of foreign instruments, plus 
certain mechanical simplifications the prod- 
uct of American inventive genius. 

The "Preparation of Microscopic Ob- 
jects " has nearly 250 pages devoted to its 
treatment. This is a very important branch 
of the technique of microscopy, and the stu- 
dent will find here all the practical directions 
he needs, derived from the experience of the 
most eminent microscopists. The purpose 
of this portion of the work, as also of the 
section on " Mounting," is to save the student 
countless mortifying failures. Every micro- 
scopist may discover for his own use the 
best processes for preparing and mounting ; 
but the time so spent is better spared, and 
devoted to practical investigation. The 
work of the microscopist is at all times ex- 
ceedingly laborious, requiring a degree of 
patience and application that is almost in- 
credible. The author aims in this part of 
his book to smooth away some of the diffi- 
culties attending the first approaches to 
this fascinating study ; but, if any dilettante 
expects to find here a royal road to micro- 
scopy, he will be most assuredly disap- 
pointed. Of this branch of knowledge, it is 
preeminently true that only by hard work 



can any progress be made. This portion of 
the work is of high value, and the informa- 
tion it contains is nowhere else accessible, 
at least in the English language. 

The remaining 400 pages are devoted to 
explaining the mode of investigating the 
fluids and tissues of organisms, etc. The 
author's method here is, first, to ascertain 
the normal conditions of tissues, organs, etc., 
and then to study diseased conditions, the 
pathological structure always more or less 
repeating the normal. As far as we have 
had an opportunity of judging, the trans- 
lator's work appears to be well done. 

The Depths of the Sea. By C. Wyville 
Thompson, LL. D., etc. London and 
New York: Macmillan & Co., 1873. 

Certain new and very interesting re- 
sults, in regard to the distribution of life, 
have been arrived at within the last few 
years, by dredging the bottom of the sea. 
Twenty years ago it was believed that at 
certain depths the greatness of the pressure, 
the lowness of the temperature, and the de- 
ficiency of light and aeration, made it impos- 
sible for life to subsist. The alleged cases of 
living creatures being drawn up from these 
great depths were discredited. The opera- 
tions of cable-laying and cable-raising have, 
however, increased our familiarity with the 
bottom of the sea, and the improved ma- 
nipulations have been turned to account in 
exploring its life. The result was, the es- 
tablishment of the truth that there is an 
order of life belonging to the sea-bed in the 
profound abysess of the ocean. The rec- 
ognition of this fact led to systematic at- 
tempts to carry on deep-sea explorations. 
In 1868 the steamer Lightning was placed 
by the British Government at the disposal 
of Dr. Carpenter and Mr. Wyville Thomp- 
son for the express purpose of submarine 
research, and the Porcupine was afterward 
assigned, for a more extensive series of sur- 
veys, to the same gentlemen, with the addi- 
tion of Mr Gwyn Jeffreys, in the summers 
of 1869 and 1870. In the first of these 
cruises the greatest depth reached was 1,500 
fathoms, but in the second they went to the 
depth of 2,500 or 3,000 fathoms. The pres- 
ent volume is a record of the results attained 
in these expeditions. It gives an account 
of the apparatus and instruments employed, 

of the forms of organization discovered, 
and much information regarding the physics 
of the ocean. It is splendidly illustrated 
and popularly written, with much humor, 
and the treatment, like the subject, is any 
thing but dry; it is a volume altogether 
worthy the interest and importance of its 

Van Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering 
Magazine. New York : D. Van Nos- 
trand, 23 Murray Street. 

We call the attention of mechanics, en- 
gineers, manufacturers, and scientific stu- 
dents, to this able and valuable periodical, 
now in its eighth volume. It treats of the 
applications of science, constructions, min- 
ing, and technical processes, and gives the 
solid literature of these subjects from all 
sources. It is edited with excellent dis- 
crimination, and the bound volumes of the 
series would form a most useful cyclopaedia 
of recent authentic information upon the 
subjects to which it is devoted. 

Historical Statement of the Business 


Insurance Company, of New York, 
for Thirty Years, from 1843 to 1872. 

The company did well to state, in the 
beginning of this pamphlet, that its matter 
is important ; since, owing to the style in 
which it is presented, few will be likely to 
discover that fact in any other way. Its 
contents are put in the shape of a fac- 
simile of the original statement, signatures 
and all, a form to which probably not one 
in a hundred will attach any special value, 
and that involves a useless waste of time 
and patience on the part of the reader. 
What policy-holders and the public want is 
clear and explicit information that is readily 
accessible, and this appears to be just what 
the insurance companies are unable or un- 
willing to furnish. 

Hygiene : a Fortnightly Journal of Sanitary 
Science. New York : Putnam. Two 
dollars per year. 

This is a publication that was much 
needed, for the first of all our interests, that 
of health, is the one concerning which peo- 
ple are most careless and indifferent. It is 
amazing the amount of ignorance displayed, 
even by cultured people, with regard to the 



most evident precepts of sanitary prudence. 
This journal will, no doubt, do a good work 
in helping to diffuse abroad something like 
rational views as to the conditions of health. 
This periodical has nothing directly to do 
with medicine, nor will it attempt to make 
doctors of its readers. Hygiene is hand- 
somely printed and carefully edited. 


Meteor-Showers on the Night of Novem- 
ber 27, 1872c In all quarters of the heav- 
ens, says an astronomical periodical, the 
Leipziger Slernwarle, the meteors were very 
numerous, especially in the Southwest and 
the Northeast. An observer looking tow- 
ard the South counted within 54 minutes, 
soon after seven p. m., 700 meteors ; another 
observer 807 meteors in 40 minutes. Be- 
tween eight and nine o'clock 899 meteors 
were counted in 42 minutes, 304 in 19 min- 
utes between nine and ten o'clock, 291 in 
30 minutes between ten and eleven o'clock. 
Now, as the observer could view about one- 
fourth of the heavens, and as over 20 mete- 
ors per minute were observed at about 
eight o'clock, we must set down the num- 
ber falling between seven and eight, and 
between eight and nine, at 5,000 per hour. 
The phenomenon began to fail at ten o'clock, 
and, between that hour and eleven, only 
2,000 meteors fell. About one-sixth of 
these meteors were brighter than stars of 
the first magnitude, and many of them left 
a train which was luminous for several sec- 
onds. The majority of them were, however, 
between the second and fourth magnitudes. 
In color most of them were yellow, though 
some were green, some blue, some red ; 
those of feebler lustre were white. Prof. 
Galle, of Breslau, and Prof. Klinkerfues, of 
Gottingen, agree in attributing this meteor- 
shower to the meeting of the earth with 
Biela's comet. "Without doubt," writes 
the former, " these meteors consist of scat- 
tered particles of Biela's comet, meeting 
the earth, as that comet in its septennial 
period passed that point in its career in the 
beginning of September, and was at its peri- 
helion at the beginning of October. Schia- 
parclli's discovery of the connection be- 
tween comets and meteoric showers thus 
obtains fresh confirmation." 

Professor Agassiz's School of Natural Ills- 
tory. This establishment, which was at 
first designed for Nantucket, but is now in- 
tended for Penikese Island, had the follow- 
ing programme of subjects and instruc- 
tions : 

" 1. Zoology in general, and embryol- 
ogy of the vertebrates, by L. Agassiz, Di- 
rector of Museum. 2. The extinct animals 
of past ages compared with those now liv- 
ing, and the methods of identifying them, 
by N. S. Shaler, Professor of Paleontology 
at the Lawrence Scientific School. 3. Com- 
parative anatomy and physiology of the 
vertebrates, by Dr. B. G. Wilder, Professor 
of Anatomy and Physiology at Cornell Uni- 
versity, Ithaca, N. Y. 4. The animals and 
plants living in deep waters, and the pecul- 
iar conditions of their existence, by L. P. 
de Pourtales, of the United States Coast 
Survey. 6. Embryology of the radiates, by 
A. Agassiz, of the Museum of Comparative 
Zoology. 6. Natural history of embryology 
of the mollusks, by Prof. E. S. Morse, of 
Salem. 7. How to make biological collec- 
tions illustrative of the history of insects 
injurious to vegetation, by Dr. H. A. Ha- 
gen, Professor of Entomology at Harvard 
University. 8. Natural history and embry- 
ology of the articulates, by Dr. A. S. Pack- 
ard, Jr., Curator of Articulates at Peabody 
Academy of Science, Salem, and Lecturer 
on Entomology at Bowdoin College. 9. 
Natural history of the fishes and reptiles, 
by F. W. Putnam, Director of Museum of 
Peabody Academy of Science, Salem, and 
Permanent Secretary of the American Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Science 
10. Natural history of birds and mammals. 
by J. A. Allen, of the Museum of Compara 
tive Zoology. 11. On breeding, and nests 
and eggs of birds, by Dr. Thomas W. Brew- 
er, chairman of Committee on Birds, Nests. 
and Eggs, of the Boston Society of Natural 
History. 12. Practical exercises in the use 
of the microscope, by Mr. Bicknell. 13. 
Instruction in drawing and painting of ani- 
mals, by Paulus Roetter, Artist at Museum 
of Comparative Zoology. 14. On the pres- 
ervation of our sea-fisheries, by Prof. Spen- 
cer F. Baird, United States Commissioner 
of Fisheries, and Assistant Secretary of 
Smithsonian Institute. 15. On fish-breed- 
ing, by Theo. Lyman, of the Museum of 



Comparative Zoology. 16. The fauna of 
the North Atlantic, compared with one an- 
other, and with that of other parts of the 
world, by Prof. Verrill. 17. The plants of 
the sea, by Prof. Eaton. 18. The physics 
of the sea, by Prof. Joseph Lovering, Pro- 
fessor of Natural Philosophy, Harvard Uni- 
versity. 19. Physical hydrography, by 
Prof. Mitchell, of the United States Coast 
Survey. 20. Chemistry of feeding and 
breathing, by Prof. W. Gibbs, Rumford- 
professor of Physics, Harvard University. 
21. Chemistry of the sea and air, by Prof. 
James Crafts, Professor of Chemistry at 
the Boston Technological Institute." 

The Causes of Typhus. As causes pre- 
disposing to typhus, medical writers usu- 
ally enumerate mental depression, anxiety, 
fear of contagion, intemperance, insufficient 
nutrition, and overcrowding. Now, dur- 
ing the sieges of Paris and Metz, the inhab- 
itants of those two cities were subject in 
an extraordinary degree to all these condi- 
tions, if in the case of Metz we except the 
fourth; and yet not a single case of the 
disease occurred among either the citizens, 
the refugees, or the soldiers. The belea- 
guering armies of the Germans, on the con- 
trary, whose sanitary condition was infinite- 
ly better, were constantly ravaged by ty- 
phus. This conflict of facts with theory 
has led Dr. Chauffard, of the Paris Acad- 
emy of Medicine, to investigate the sub- 
ject of typhus anew, and we here give the 
chief results of his inquiry. According to 
him, the epidemics of typhus which have 
broken out in France had always a foreign 
origin, and the disease has never been able 
to become endemic in that country. The 
epidemic of 1814 was brought in by the 
defeated armies of the North, on their 
return from Russia and Northern Germany, 
and that of 1855-56 was imported by the 
troops returning from the Crimea. But 
soon they died out on French soil, and 
hence the author conjectures that in the 
French race and on French soil there is 
something which is antagonistic to typhus. 
He inclines to regard this disease as local- 
ized, so far as its origin is concerned, just 
like cholera, or yellow fever. Then, to show 
that his conjecture as to race immunity is 
not without foundation, he states that in 

New Orleans the yellow fever commits it3 
greatest ravages among the whites, the chol- 
era among the negroes. Then, too, the ne- 
gro race can better resist the morbid influ- 
ences of marshy soil, than can the white. 
To show how different may be the effects 
of the same morbific influences on diverse 
races of men, the author cites the case of 
an Egyptian vessel entering the port of 
Liverpool in the worst possible sanitary 
condition. The crew were all sick but no 
typhus. But the Englishmen who visited 
the ship were nearly all seized with that dis- 
ease. On the high table-lands of Mexico, 
typhus is endemic and frequent, typhoid 
fever very rare. On the contrary, at an 
altitude of less than 2,000 feet above the 
sea-level, typhoid is abundant, typhus rare. 
Even on the table-lands, however, newly- 
arrived French soldiers were attacked by 
typhoid ; but, when they had become accli- 
mated, they were seized only by typhus. 
The author replies to the objection that 
might be drawn from the occurrence of 
typhus in prisons and among convicts con- 
demned to the galleys, by claiming that 
such outbreaks of supposed typhus are 
really only typhoid fevers of an unusual 
character. In fact, ever since French phy- 
sicians had, after the Crimean War, an op- 
portunity for more closely studying true 
typhus, prison epidemics are not often char- 
acterized as outbreaks of that disease. The 
author then examines certain cases where 
undoubted typhus has made its appearance 
spontaneously, as it might be supposed, on 
French soil, and explains the occurrence by 
importation from foreign countries. Our 
brief abstract is far from doing justice to 
this highly-important paper, and we com- 
mend the entire essay, as found in the 
Revue Scientijique, to the attention of our 
medical readers. 

Habits of Right and Sperm Whales. 

In the American Naturalist, Prof. N. S. Shaler 
notes some of the prominent characteristic 
habits of right and sperm-whales, on the au- 
thority of an old whaler, Captain John Pease, 
of Edgartown, Massachusetts. The calving- 
time for the right-whale, he says, never be- 
gins until July 1st, and by the 3d or 4th of 
the month every female is accompanied by 
her calf. The affection of the right-whale 



and of the humpback for their young is 
very strong, but the sperm-whale gives no 
evidence of such fondness. Among sperm- 
whales there is strict subordination of every 
herd to its leader, but each right-whale ap- 
pears to be independent. The male right 
is smaller than the female, but the reverse 
is the case for the sperm-whale. The males 
of the sperm-whale engage in furious con- 
flicts with each other, and Captain Pease 
has often found clear evidence of these 
fights in the scarred bodies of captured 
whales. In the Nantucket Museum may 
be seen two specimens of the lower jaw 
damaged in conflict, one of them being bent 
laterally into one turn of a spiral. Captain 
Pease has often witnessed the attack of the 
sperm on the right and humpback whale. 
Fifty or more of them will join in the attack, 
leaping many feet out of the water and fall- 
ing on their victim. Squid forms the prin- 
cipal food of the sperm-whale, and Captain 
Pease once saw the head of a squid, as 
large as a sugar hogshead, which had been 
chopped off by the closure of the sperm- 
whale's jaws. 

The captain is positive that a trace of 
hair is to be found within the skin of the 
right-whale, and says that, if the fresh skin 
be scraped, the inner section will show a 
trace of hair. If this whale is the descend- 
ant of a land-mammal, we should expect to 
find just such a trace of hair. Then, too, 
there is a sperm-whale's tooth at Nantucket 
which has two fangs, and it is stated that 
the other teeth of the animal to which this 
belonged had likewise two fangs. The au- 
thor suspects here a case of reversion. Ac- 
cording to Captain Pease, right -whales 
attain adult size in three years, though he 
admits that they may grow very slowly for 
some years longer. 

Cruelties of the Seal-Fishery . The cruel 
and useless destruction of young seals, re- 
sulting from the way in which the seal- 
fisheries are at present conducted, has called 
out a vigorous protest from Mr. Frank 
Buckkind, coupled with a recommendation 
that the governments concerned unite in a 
system of regulations that shall in future 
prevent the barbarities and wastefulness 
which, if continued, must soon put an end 
to an important industry. On the authority 

of Captain David Gray, commander of the 
screw-steamer Eclipse, of the Scottish seal- 
ing-fleet, we are told that operations begin 
about the 20th of March, or within a few 
days after the young are born. The har- 
pooner chooses a place where a number of 
young seals are lying, knowing that soon 
the mothers will make their appearance. 
Of these, as many as 40,000 were killed last 
year, not to speak of those that were 
wounded and scared away. Thus tens of 
thousands of young seals are left mother- 
less. " It is horrible," says Captain Gray, 
" to see the young ones trying to suck the 
carcasses of their mothers, their eyes start- 
ing out of the sockets, looking the very 
picture of famine. They crawl over and 
over them until quite red with blood, poking 
them with their noses, no doubt wondering 
why they are not getting their usual feed, 
uttering painful cries the while. The noise 
they make is something dreadful. If one 
could imagine himself surrounded by four 
or five hundred thousand human babies all 
crying at the pitch of their voices, he would 
have some idea of it. Their cry is very 
like an infant's. These motherless seals 
collect into lots of five or six, and crawl 
about the ice, their heads fast becoming the 
biggest part of their bodies, searching to 
find the nourishment they stand so much in 
want of. The females are very affectionate 
toward their young." Immense numbers 
of young seals are in this way starved to 
death ; and, even if slaughtered on the spot, 
are comparatively worthless, as their bodies 
contain little or no oil, and their skins bring 
but a very low price. According to Mr. 
Buckland, if the commencement of the 
work were postponed for only three or four 
weeks, the young would then be old enough 
to take care of themselves, and, even if 
killed, which he strongly objects to, at this 
early period of their lives, their bodies 
would have a greatly increased value. 

The Failure of Car-Axles. The fracture 
of car-axles, and the frequent accidents 
arising therefrom, are due, it appears, in 
the majority of cases, to imperfect con- 
struction, which may be readily detected 
by applying the proper tests. As an ex- 
ample of the kind of work that manufac- 
turers sometimes turn out to railway com- 



panies, we are told by Mr. James E. Whit- 
ney, in the Railway 2vnes, that, of a lot of 
axles furnished to the Mobile & Ohio 
Railroad Company, but one-fourth were ca- 
pable of meeting the required test, and the 
other three-fourths were returned to the 
manufacturer. Mr. Whitney also says that 
the duty of making these tests belongs to 
the railway companies themselves, which 
leaves them no valid excuse for the employ- 
ment of defective materials. 

Besides the use of poor iron, the resist- 
ing power of the axle may also be lessened 
by the method of manufacture. " The 
ideal axle," says Mr. Whitney, " would have 
its metal as dense as possible, and hence 
would be shaped mainly by hammering. Its 
fibres would run unbroken throughout its 
length, and the tough outer skin, which in 
wrought as in cast iron is much stronger 
than that within, would be preserved in its 
integrity." As now manufactured, a por- 
tion of this is removed by turning, and the 
axle proportionally weakened. The turn- 
ing process is also carried to the formation 
of sharp corners, which, as shown by Ran- 
kin, eventually become the starting-points 
of annular or circumferential grooves that 
continue to deepen until the central por- 
tion is too much diminished to bear the 
shock of the unusual jar : " The ordinary 
'tapping' will, in aggravated cases, enable 
such a flaw to be detected, but no skill and 
no care will guard against the slow but 
sure approach of danger, because of the un- 
necessary removal of a few annular chips 
at the shoulder of the wheel-bearing, to 
gratify the whim of the turner." 

But, however strong originally, car-axles 
always deteriorate with use, the constant 
succession of jars to which they are subject 
gradually impairing the strength of the iron. 
The character of this change is not well 
understood, and the only effective method 
now known, of guarding against the danger 
arising from it, is to throw the axle aside 
after it has been run a certain number of 

Bowlder-like Masses of Clay in Drift. 

Masses of stratified gravel, similar in shape 
to the clay-bowlders mentioned in the March 
number of this monthly as occurring in the 
drift of Long Island, were found during the 

excavation of the Chicago Tunnel in the 
drift under Lake Michigan. In the Ameri- 
can Journal of Science for January, 1867, 
Prof. E. Andrews thus describes tbem : 
" They lay in all imaginable positions, some- 
times with their strata set up at high an- 
gles. They were from a few inches to a 
few feet in diameter, and were embedded in 
the solid, impervious clay nearly 80 feet 
below the surface of the lake. The gravel 
was water-worn, and often so clean that it 
would scarcely soil a handkerchief. The 
interstices commonly contained a few gal- 
lons of water in the lower part, and some 
air or gas in the upper. The gas was in 
many instances inflammable. The pockets 
scarcely leaked a drop when once emptied, 
and the cavities looked exactly, in many 
instances, like casts of rounded bowlders." 
Prof. Andrews believes they were de- 
posited as frozen masses which thawed after 
they were embedded in the clay. This view 
is corroborated by an experiment made two 
years ago by Mr. E. Lewis, of Brooklyn. 
During a period of cold weather he selected 
an inlet of the sea through which the tidal 
flow was rapid, and in which the water was 
several degrees below freezing. The bot- 
tom was frozen where the water was 10 feet 
deep, but there was no ice on the surface. 
A mass of frozen earth weighing about 50 
pounds was sunk, by means of a cord, at the 
deepest part of the inlet. Six days after- 
ward this mass was unchanged, except that 
its extreme surface was slightly soft and 
moist. At the expiration of 30 days it was 
again examined, and found to be somewhat 
wasted. The temperature of the water 
was then 3 above freezing. "If," says 
Mr. Lewis, " this mass had been covered by 
a quantity of sand or gravel, thrown down 
upon it while frozen, it would have retained 
its form ; and enormous masses of such ma- 
terial are sometimes deposited suddenly 
from floating ice and glaciers." 

Marked Case of Heredity in Mastiffs. 

Mr. Darwin communicates to Nature a let- 
ter from Mr. Huggins on the hereditary 
transmission, in a breed of mastiffs, of a 
strong antipathy to butchers and butchers' 
shops. Mr. Huggins owns a dog, " Kepler," 
whose sire was a celebrated mastiff, " Turk." 
When " Kepler " was six months old he fol- 



lowed a servant out on the street, and then 
for the first time saw a butcher's shop. The 
animal threw himself down, and could not 
be induced to pass the place. The dog is 
now nearly three years old, and the antipa- 
thy has diminished somewhat, but not dis- 
appeared. Mr. Huggins lately found that 
" Kepler's " ancestor, " Turk," manifested 
the same antipathy, and his former owner 
was asked for information on the subject. 
It now appears that this curious dislike for 
butchers' shops and butchers was shown 
equally by " Turk's " sire, " King " (in 
whom it probably originated), and by 
"Punch" and "Paris," sons of "Turk." 
The antipathy is most marked in " Paris," 
who will hardly enter a street containing a 
butcher's shop, and runs away after he has 
passed it. If a butcher's cart comes to the 
place where the dogs are kept, they are 
filled with fright even though they do not 
see the object of their fears. " Turk's " 
owner, Mr. Nichols, then tells of two in- 
stances where " Paris " gave evidence of 
the most extraordinary sagacity in recog- 
nizing a butcher under any circumstances. 
One evening a boss-butcher, in ordinary 
clothes, called to see " Paris," but had 
scarcely entered the house when the dog 
became unmanageable, and the visitor had 
to leave without seeing him. On another 
occasion tl Paris " sprang at a gentleman, 
and, as it was the first exhibition he ever 
had made of such viciousness, his owner 
apologized, and said that the dog had never 
before attacked any but butchers. The gen- 
tleman was a butcher ! 

Since the publication of Mr. Huggins's 
letter, several other communications have 
appeared in Nature, showing that all the 
dogs of this line inherit this instinctive 
antipathy. Mr. H. G. Brooke writes of a 
grandson of " Turk : " " Ever since he was 
a pup he has evinced " this antipathy. A 
brother of this dog of Mr. Brooke's shows 
the same feeling, according to Mr. Arthur 
Ransom, his owner. 

Mr. Russel Wallace is inclined to think 
that these dogs distinguish butchers from 
other men by the sense of smell, which is 
very acute in all dogs. He also thinks that 
it it this sense which enables a dog to find 
his way back from a distance, though on 
first making the journey he had been blind- 

folded, and so prevented from seeing his 
way. Another correspondent of Nature, 
writing in confirmation of Mr. Wallace's 
view, tells of a cat's antipathy to dogs. 
This animal would " swear," if only stroked 
by a hand which had directly before touched 
a dog. Mr. Darwin's purpose in calling at- 
tention to the present case of heredity is, 
to illustrate his theory of instinct as an ac- 
quired and transmitted habit. 

Changes in River-Bcds. In a report on 
the subject of a water-supply for the village 
of Tonkers, New York, published in the Jan- 
uary number of the American Chemist, Prof. 
J. S. Newberry furnishes some interesting 
facts on the geology of river-beds, that will 
be of general interest. He says : " It is prob- 
ably known to you that most of the drain- 
ing streams of all the region between the 
Mississippi and the Atlantic are now ruu- 
ning far above their ancient beds. This 
fact was first revealed to me by the borings 
made for oil in the valleys of the tributaries 
of the Ohio. All these streams were found 
to be flowing in valleys, once deeply exca- 
vated but now partially filled, and, in some 
instances, almost obliterated. Further in- 
vestigation showed that the same was true 
of the draining streams of New York and 
the Atlantic slope. For example, the val- 
ley of the Mohawk, for a large part of its 
course, is filled with sand and gravel, to the 
depth of over two hundred feet. In the 
Hudson the water surface stands now prob- 
ably five hundred feet above its ancient 
level the old mouth of the Hudson and 
the channel which leads to it being distinct- 
ly traceable on the bottom nearly eighty 
miles south and east of New York The 
excavation of these deep channels could 
only have been effected when the continent 
was much higher than now. Subsequently 
it was depressed so far that the ocean- 
waters stood on the Atlantic coast from one 
hundred to five hundred feet higher than 
they now do. During this period of sub- 
mergence the blue clays in the valley of the 
Hudson the ' Champlain clays ' were de- 
posited, and the valleys of all the streams 
were more or less filled." 

Dimensions of IVcw-England Glaciers. 

The Glacial and Champlain Epochs in New 



England is the subject of a learned paper, 
by Prof. Dana, in the American Journal of 
Scie?ice for March. From it we learn that 
in Northern New England the glaciers were 
from 5,000 to 6,500 feet in thickness. At 
the White Mountains the ice-surface was 
6,000 feet above the sea-level, and the mass 
had a depth of nearly a mile. On Central 
Long Island the surface of the glacier was 
2,100 feet above the surface of the sea, and 
in the Connecticut Valley 3,200 feet. The 
slope of the ice-surface from the White 
Mountains southward was about 24 feet to 
the mile, and about 19 feet to the mile in 
the Connecticut Valley. The glacier ex- 
tended beyond the present coast-line, possi- 
bly some 90 miles southward of Long Isl- 
and. Its forward movement is thought to 
have been one foot in a week, or about 100 
miles in 10,000 years. The crushing and 
erosive power of such an enormous mass 
of ice may be appreciated when it is known 
that, if 6,000 feet thick, it would lie upon 
the earth with a pressure of about 300,000 
pounds to each square foot. 


A monument is to be erected in Bir- 
mingham, England, to the memory of Dr. 
Joseph Priestley. In his lifetime his heter- 
odoxy disqualified him for a berth in one 
of Captain Cook's ships, though he would 
have been a most valuable aid to the com- 
mander. The time has at length come 
when England and America can do honor 
to the man who " embraced what is called 
the heterodox side of every question." 

Five living sea-fish were recently sent by 
mail from Naples to London, the journey 
consuming a little over four days. The fish 
were each about two inches in length, and 
were packed in damp sea-weed, from which 
all but one came out in good condition, 
and, soon after being placed in their natural 
element, became as lively as ever. 

Prof. Leidt is of opinion that conta- 
gion is frequently transferred from one sub- 
ject to another by the agency of the com- 
mon house-fly, and his observations in mili- 
tary hospitals have led him to the conclu- 
sion that flies should be carefully excluded 
from wounds, particularly if gangrene is any- 
where about. 

Weltwitsch tells of a plant, an oxalis, 
growing in Angola, Africa, which is so sen- 
sitive that it closes its leaves on hearing (so 
to speak) a footfall in its neighborhood. 

A dying pauper in Ireland willed his 
body to a surgeon for dissection. The 
poor-law guardians are indignant, and de- 
mand that the surgeon, who is medical 
officer to the Board of Charities, resign. 
The ground on which it is sought to annul 
the pauper's will is, "undue influence." 
This is probably the first case in which a 
pauper's last will and testament is brought 
into dispute. 

Berlin has grown rich by war, but her 
poor are growing poorer. About half of 
the population live in dens which have usu- 
ally two chalk-lines crossing each other on 
the floor. A room is thus divided into four 
compartments, one for the sleeping-place, 
another for the nursery, the third is hired 
to a lodger, and the fourth is kitchen, liv- 
ing-room, and workshop. 

A San Francisco paper says that oys- 
ters can be imported into California from 
Mexico at a cheaper rate than from New 
York. The coast of Mexico, from Guaymas 
to Acapulco, abounds in oysters of large 
size and excellent flavor. They can be put 
on board the Mexican steamers at Mazat- 
lan, at less than $15 per ton, and the 
freight thence to San Francisco would not 
be over $10. 

The following is in striking contrast to 
the " devil-may-care " policy of our laws in 
regard to the safety of railway -passengers : 
In England it is against the law to attempt 
to get on or off" a railway-train while in 
motion, and, more than that, the law is en- 
forced. Recently a young man nearly lost 
his life in the attempt to board a train 
which was slowly moving out of a station. 
He was brought up for trial, and fined five 
shillings with costs. A woman who stepped 
off a moving train was also convicted, and, 
having no money, was sent to jail for ten 
days. Americans, about to travel in Eng- 
land, may save some of their loose change 
and perhaps their personal liberty, by mak- 
ing note of this. 

Prof. Voght records an instance of 
what may be called self-cannibalism. He 
cut in two a male cricket, and immediately 
the fore part, probably experiencing a sen- 
sation of emptiness in the ventral region, 
turned upon the hinder part and devoured 

A French apothecary has discovered an 
excellent and very cheap substitute for qui- 
nine, in powdered laurel-leaf. The leaves 
of the laurel (Laurvs nobilis) are slowly 
dried over the fire in a close vessel, and 
then powdered. One gramme (15| grains) 
is a dose, and is taken in a glass of cold 
water. The drug so taken produces no bad 
effects, and soon, it is said, breaks up the 
most obstinate intermittent fevers. 



JUNE, 1873. 


By De. H. SCHELIsEN.i 

WHEN the starry heavens are viewed through a telescope of 
moderate power, a great number of stellar clusters and faint 
nebulous forms are revealed against the dark background of the sky 
which might be taken at first sight for passing clouds, but which, by 
their unchanging forms and persistent appearance, are proved to be- 
long to the heavenly bodies, though possessing a character widely dif- 
fering from the point-like images of ordinary stars. Sir William Her- 
schel was able, with his gigantic forty-foot telescope, to resolve many 
of these nebula? into clusters of stars, and found them to consist of 
vast groups of individual suns, in which thousands of fixed stars may 
be clearly separated and counted, but which are so far removed from 
us that we are unable to perceive their distance one from the other, 
though that may really amount to many millions of miles, and their 
light, with a low magnifying power, seems to come from a large, faint- 
ly-luminous mass. But all nebulse were not resolvable with this tele- 
scope, and, in proportion as such nebulae were resolved into clusters 
of stars, new nebulse appeared which resisted a power of 6,000, and 
suggested to this astute investigator the theory that, besides the 
many thousand apparent nebulas which reveal themselves to us as a 
complete and separate system of worlds, there are also thousands of 
real nebulae in the universe composed of primeval cosmical matter out 
of which future worlds were to be fashioned. 

Lord Rosse, by means of a telescope of fifty-two feet focus, of his 
own construction, was able to resolve into clusters of stars many of the 
nebulae not resolved by Herschel ; but there were still revealed to the 
eye, thus carried farther into space, new nebulae beyond the power 
even of this gigantic telescope to resolve. 

1 Abridged from Schellen's " Spectrum Analysis." 
vol. m. 9 


Telescopes failed, therefore, to settle the question whether the un- 
resolved nebulae are portions of the primeval matter out of which the 

Fig. 1. 

The Great Nebula in Orion. 

existing stars have been formed ; they leave us in uncertainty as to 
whether these nebulae were masses of luminous gas, which in the lapse 
of ages would pass through the various stages of incandescent liquid 


Central and Most Brilliant Portion of the Great Nebula en the Sword-handle of 
Orion, ab observed by Sir john Herschel in ma Twenty-foot Reflector at Feld- 
. hausen, Cape of Good Hope (1834 to 1837). 


(the sun and fixed stars), of scoriae or gradual formation of a cold and 
non-luminous surface (the earth and planets), and finally of complete 
gelation and torpidity (the moon), or whether they exist as a complete 
and separate system of woi'lds; telescopes have only widened the 
problem, and have neither simplified nor solved its difficulties. 

That which was beyond the power of the most gigantic telescopes 
has been accomplished by that apparently insignificant, but really 
delicate, and almost infinitely sensitive instrument the spectroscope ; 
we are indebted to it for being able to say with certainty that lumi- 
nous nebulae actually exist as isolated bodies in space, and that these 
bodies are luminous masses of gas. 

The splendid edifice already planned by Kant in his " Theory of 
the Heavens " (1755), and erected by Laplace forty-one years later, in 
his " System of the Universe," has received its topmost stone through 
the discoveries of the spectroscope. The spectroscope, in combina- 
tion with the telescope, affords means for ascertaining even now some 
of the phases through which the sun and planets have passed in their 
process of development or transition from masses of luminous nebulae 
to their present condition. 

Great variety is observed in the forms of the nebulae : while some 
are chaotic and irregular, and sometimes highly fantastic, others ex- 

Fro. 3. 

The Large Magellanic Cloud. 

hibit the pure and beautiful forms of a curve, a crescent, a globe, or a 
circle. A number of the most characteristic of these forms have been 
photographed on glass at the suggestion of Mr. Huggins ; to these 
have been added a few others, taken from accurate drawings by Lord 


Rosse; and they may all be projected on to a screen by means of the 
electric or lime-light lantern, and made visible to a large audience. 

The largest and most irregular of all the nebulae is that in the con- 
stellation of Orion (Figs. 1, 2). It is situated rather below the three 
stars of second magnitude composing the central part of that magnifi- 
cent constellation, and is visible to the naked eye. It is extremely 
difficult to execute even a tolerably correct drawing of this nebula ; 
but it appears, from the various drawings made at different times, that 
a change is taking place in the form and position of the brightest 
portions. Fig. 2 represents the central and brightest part of the 

Fig. 4. 

Nebula of the Form of a Sickle. 

nebula. Four bright stars, forming a trapezium, are situated in it, 
one of which only is visible to the naked eye. The nebula surround- 
ing these stars has a flaky appearance, and is of a greenish- white 
color; single portions form long curved streaks stretching out in a 
radiating manner from the middle and bright parts. 

Much less irregularity is apparent in the great Magellanic or Cape 
clouds (Fig. 3), which are two nebulae in the Southern Hemisphere, one 
of them exceeding by five times the apparent size of the moon. They 
are distinctly visible to the naked eye, and are so bright that they 
serve as marks for reconnoitring the heavens, and for reckoning the 
hour of the night. 



The interest aroused by these irregular and chaotic nebulous forms 
is still further increased by the phenomena of the spiral or convoluted 
nebula? with which the giant telescopes of Lord Kosse and Mr. Bond 
have made us further acquainted. As a rule, there stream out from 

Fig. 5. 

Spiral Nebula in Canes Venatici. 

one or more centres of luminous matter innumerable curved nebulous 
streaks, which recede from the centre in a spiral form, and finally lose 
themselves in space. Fig. 4 represents a nebula in the form of a sickle 
or comet-tail, and Fig. 5 shows the most remarkable of all the spiral 
nebula?, situated in the constellation Canes Venatici. 

Fig. 6. 

Transition from the Spiral to the Annclar Form. 

It is hardly conceivable that a system of such a nebulous form 
could exist without internal motion. The bright nucleus, as well as 
the streaks curving round it in the same direction, seems to indicate 



an accumulation of matter toward the centre, with a gradual increase 
of density, and a rotatory movement. But, if we combine with this 
motion the supposition of an opposing medium, it is difficult to har- 
monize such a system with the known laws of statics. Accurate meas- 
ures are, therefore, of the highest interest for the purpose of showing 

Annulab Nebula in Lyba. 

whether actual rotation or other changes are taking place in these 
uebulse; but, unfortunately, they are rendered extremely difficult and 
uncertain by the want of outline, and by the remarkable faintness of 
these nebulous objects. 

Pio. 8. 

Nebula with Seveeal Rings. 

The transition state from the spiral to the annular form is shown 
in such nebulae as the one represented in Fig. 6 ; and they then pass 



into the simple or compound annular nebula of a type which is given 
in Fig. 7. 

The space within most of these elliptie rings is not perfectly dark, 
but is occupied either by a diffused nebulous light, as in Fig. 1, or, as 

Fig. 9. 

Elliptical Annulab Nebula. 

in most cases, by a bright nucleus, round which sometimes one ring, 
sometimes several, are disposed in various forms. In Fig. 8 a represen- 
tation is given of a compound annular nebula, with very elliptic rings 
and bright nucleus. 

Pig. 10. 

Elongated Nebula. 

According as the ring has its surface or its edge turned toward us, 
or according as our line of sight is perpendicular or more or less 
obliquely inclined to the surface of the ring, its form approaches that 

3 6 


of a circle, a ring, an ellipse, or even a straight line. Nebulas of this 
latter kind are represented in Fig. 9 and in Fig. 10. When an ellip- 
tical ring is extremely elongated, and the minor axis is much smaller 
than the major one, the densitj 7 and brightness of the ring diminish a& 
its distance from the central nucleus increases ; and this takes place 
to such a degree sometimes, that at the farthest points of the ring, the 
ends of the major axis, it ceases to be visible, and the continuity seems 
to be broken. The nebula has then the appearance of a double nebula, 
with a central spot as represented in Figs. 11, 12. 

Fig. 11. 

Pig. 12. 

Double Nebula. 

Annular Nebula with Centre. 

Those nebulas, which appear with tolerably sharply-defined edges 
in the form of a circle or slight ellipse, seem to belong to a much higher 
stage of development. From their resemblance to those planets which 
shine with a pale or bluish light, they have been called planetary neb- 
ulae ; in form, however, they vary considerably, some of them being 

Fig. 13. 

Planetart Nebula with Two Stars. 

spiral and some annular. Some of these planetary nebulas are repre- 
sented in Figs. 12, 14, 15. The first has two central stars or nuclei, 
each surrounded by a dark space, beyond which the spiral streaks are 
disposed ; the second has also two nuclei, but without clearly separable 



dark spaces ; the third is without any nucleus, but shows a well-defined 
ring of light. 

The highest type of nebulae are certainly the stellar nebulae, in 
which a tolerably well-defined bright star is surrounded by a com- 
pletely rounded disk or faint atmosphere of light, which sometimes fades 
away gradually into space, at other times terminates abruptly with 

Fig. 14. 

Fig. 15. 


Planetary Nebula. 

a sharp edge. Figs. 16 and 17 exhibit the most striking of these very 
remarkable stellar nebulae : the first is surrounded by a system of rings 
like Saturn, with the thin edge turned toward us; the second is a veri- 
table star of the eighth magnitude, and is not nebulous, but is sur- 
rounded by a bright luminous atmosphere perfectly concentric. To 
the right of the star is a small dark space, such as often occurs in 
these nebulae, indicating, perhaps, an opening in the surrounding at- 

We have now passed in review all that is at present known of the 
nebulae, so far as their appearance and form have been revealed by the 
largest telescopes. The information as yet furnished by the spectro- 
scope on this subject is certainly much less extensive, but is neverthe- 

Fig. 16. 

Fig. 17. 

Planetary Nebula. 

Stellar Nebula. 

less of the greatest importance, since the spectroscope has power to 
reveal the nature and constitution of these remote heavenly bodies. 
It must here again be remembered that the character of the spectrum 
not only indicates what the substance is that emits the light, but also 



its physical condition. If the spectrum be a continuous one, consisting 
of rays of every color or degree of refrangibility, then the source of light 
is either a solid or liquid incandescent body ; if, on the contrary, the 
spectrum be composed of bright lines only, then it is certain that the 
light comes from luminous gas / finally, if the spectrum be continu- 
ous, but crossed by dark lines interrupting the colors, it is an indica- 
tion that the source of light is a solid or liquid incandescent body, but 
that the light has passed through an atmosphere of vapors at a lower 
temperature, which by their selective absorptive power have abstracted 
those colored rays which they would have emitted had they been self- 

Fig. 18. 

Spectrum of Nebula. 1 

When Huggins first directed his telescope in August, 1864, to one 
of these objects, a small but very bright nebula, he found, to his great 
surprise, that the spectrum, instead of being a continuous colored 
band, such as that given by a star, consisted only of three bright lines. 

This one observation was sufficient to solve the long-vexed ques- 
tion, at least for this particular nebula, and to prove that it is not a 
cluster of individual, separable stars, but is actually a gaseous nebula, 
a body of luminous gas. In fact, such a spectrum could only be pro- 

Fio. 19. 

Speotbum of Nebula compared with the Sun and some Teebestkial Elements. 

duced by a substance in a state of gas ; the light of this nebula, there- 
fore, was emitted neither by solid nor liquid incandescent matter, nor 
by gases in a state of extreme density, as may be the case in the sun 
and stars, but by luminous gas in a highly-rarefied condition. 

In order to discover the chemical nature of this gas, Huggins fol- 
lowed the usual methods of comparison, and tested the spectrum with 

1 From Herschel's Catalogue, No. 4,374. 


the Fraunhofer lines of the solar spectrum, and the bright lines of ter- 
restrial elements. A glance at Fig. 19 will show at once the result of 
this investigation. The brightest line (1) of the nebula coincides ex- 
actly with the brightest line (N) of the spectrum of nitrogen, which is 
a double line. The faintest of the nebular lines (3) also coincides with 
the bluish-green hydrogen Hue H0, or, which is the same thing, with 
the Fraunhofer line F in the solar spectrum. The middle line (2) of 
the nebula was not found to coincide with any of the bright lines of 
the thirty terrestrial elements with which it has been compared ; it 
lies not far from the barium line Ba, but is not coincident with it. 




IT is natural that we should regard with an intense curiosity all the 
faculties with which our bodily frame is gifted, and that we should 
desire to preserve them as perfectly as possible. The following re- 
marks are designed to do something toward gratifying that curiosity 
with regard to one of the most important of our powers, and to give a 
few hints in respect to things that are hurtful to it. 

Our popular physiologies teach us that there is a tube leading from 
the drum of the ear into the throat, called, from its discoverer Eus- 
tachius, the "Eustachian tube." The use of this tube is twofold. 
First, it supplies the drum with air, and keeps the membrane exactly 
balanced, and free to move, with equal air-pressure on each side ; and, 
secondly, it carries off any fluid which may be in the drum, and pre- 
vents it from being choked by its own moisture. It is not always 
open, however, but is opened during the act of swallowing, by a little 
muscle which is attached to it just as it reaches the throat. Most per- 
sons can distinctly feel that this is the case, by gently closing the nose 
and swallowing ; when a distinct sensation is felt in the ears. This 
sensation is*due to a little air being drawn out of the ears through the 
open tube during swallowing ; and it lasts for a few minutes, unless 
the air is again restored by swallowing with the nose unclosed, which 
allows for the moment a free communication between the ear and the 
throat. We thus see a reason for the tube being closed. If it were 
always open, all the sounds produced in the throat would pass directly 
into the drum of the ear, and totally confuse us. We should hear 
every breath, and live in a constant bewilderment of internal sounds. 
At the same time the closure, being but a light contact of the walls of 
the tube, easily allows a slight escape of air from the drum, and thus 
not only facilitates and regulates the oscillations of the air before the 


vibrating membrane, but provides a safety-valve, to a certain extent, 
against the injurious influence of loud sounds. 

The chief use of the Eustachian tube is to allow a free interchange 
of air between the ear and the throat, and this is exceedingly impor- 
tant ; and it is very important also that its use in this respect should 
be understood. Persons who go down in diving-bells soon begin to 
feel a great pressure in the ears, and, if the depth is great, the feeling 
becomes extremely painful. This arises from the fact that in the 
diving-bell the pressure of the air is very much increased, in order to 
balance the weight of the water above ; and thus it presses with great 
force upon the membrane of the drum, which, if the Eustachian tube 
has been kept closed, has only the ordinary uncompressed air on the 
inner side to sustain it. It is therefore forced inward and put upon 
the stretch, and might be even broken. Many cases, indeed, have 
occurred of injury to the ear, producing permanent deafness, from 
descents in diving-bells, undertaken by persons ignorant of the way in 
which the ear is made; though the simple precaution of frequent swal- 
lowing suffices to ward off all mischief. For, if the Eustachian tube is 
thus opened, again and again, as the pressure of the outside air in- 
creases, the same compressed air that exists outside passes also into 
the inside of the drum, and the membrane is equally pressed upon from 
both sides by the air, and so is free from strain. The same precaution 
is necessary in ascending mountains that are lofty, for then there is 
the same effect of stretching produced upon the membrane, though in 
the opposite way. The outside air becoming less and less condensed 
as a greater height is gained, the ordinary air contained within the 
drum presses upon the membrane, which is thus insufficiently sup- 
ported on the outside, and a similar feeling of weight and stretching is 
produced. The conjurer's trick of breaking a vase by a word rests on 
the same principle. The air is exhausted from within, and the thin, 
though massive-looking sides of the vase collapse by the pressure of 
the air outside ; and, just as ever so small a hole, made at the right 
moment in the side of the vase, would prevent the whole effect, so does 
swallowing, which makes a little hole, as it were, for the moment in 
the drum of the ear, prevent the in-pressing or out-pressing of the 
membrane. Mr. Tyndall, in his interesting book " On Soifhd," tells us 
how he employed this precaution of swallowing, and with entire suc- 
cess, when, in one of his mountain excursions, the pressure on his ears 
became severely painful. 

Deafness during colds arises very often, though not always, from a 
similar cause. For, when, owing to swelling of the throat, the Eu- 
stachian tube cannot be opened by its muscle, and so the air in the 
drum is not renewed, the air that is contained in it soon diminishes, 
and the outer air presses the membrane in, so that it cannot vibrate as 
it should. This is what has been sometimes called " throat-deafness." 

There are several things very commonly done which are extremely 


injurious to the ear, and ought to be carefully avoided. Those who 
have followed the previous description will easily understand the 

And first, children's ears ought never to be boxed. We have seen 
that the passage of the ear is closed by a thin membrane, especially 
adapted to be influenced by every impulse of the air, and with nothing 
but the air to support it internally. What, then, can be more likely 
to injure this membrane than a sudden and forcible compression of the 
air in front of it ? If any one designed to break or overstretch the 
membrane, he could scarcely devise a more effective means than to 
bring the hand suddenly and forcibly down upon the passage of the 
ear, thus driving the air violently before it, with no possibility for its 
escape but by the membrane giving way. And far too often it does 
give way, especially if, from any previous disease, it has been weak 
ened. Many children are made deaf by boxes on the ear in this way. 
Nor is this the only way : if there is one thing which does the nerve 
of hearing more harm than almost any other, it is a sudden jar or 
shock. Children and grown persons alike may be entirely deafened by 
falls or heavy blows upon the head. And boxing the ears produces 
a similar effect, though more slowly and in less degree. It tends to 
dull the sensibility of the nerve, even if it does not hurt the membrane. 
I knew a pitiful case, once, of a poor youth who died from a terrible 
disease of the ear. He had had a discharge from it since he was a 
child. Of course his hearing had been dull : and what had happened 
was that his father had often boxed his ear for inattention! Most 
likely that boxing on the ear, diseased as it was, had much to do with 
his dying. And this brings me to the second point. Children should 
never be blamed for being inattentive, until it has been found out 
whether they are not a little deaf. This is easily done by placing them 
at a few yards' distance, and trying whether they can understand 
what is said to them in a rather low tone of voice. Each ear should 
be tried, while the other is stopped by the finger. I do not say that 
children are never guilty of inattention, especially to that which they 
do not particularly wish to hear; but I do say that very many children 
are blamed and punished for inattention when they really do not hear. 
And there is nothing at once more cruel and more hurtful to the char- 
acter of children than to be found fault with for what is really their 
misfortune. Three things should be remembered here: 1. That slight 
degrees of deafness, often lasting only for a time, are very common 
among children, especially during or after colds. 2. That a slight 
deafness, which does not prevent a person from hearing when he is 
expecting to be spoken to, will make him very dull to what he is not 
expecting ; and, 3. That there is a kind of deafness in which a person 
can hear pretty well while listening, but is really very hard of hearing 
when not listening. 

The chief avoidable cause of deafness is catching cold, and what- 


ever keeps us from colds helps us to preserve our hearing. We should 
do, therefore, those things that help to keep colds away: for which 
the first is taking plenty of fresh air; the second using enough, but 
not too much, cold water all over us, taking especial care to rub our- 
selves thoroughly dry, and never to let it chill us ; and the third is to 
avoid draughts, and wet, especially sitting in wet clothes, or being in 
close or very heated rooms. But there are some kinds of cold espe- 
cially hurtful to the ear. One is sitting with the ear exposed to a side 
wind, as too many people do now on the roofs of omnibuses, and so 
on. We should always face the wind ; then, if we are not chilled, it is 
hard to have too much of it. Another hurtful thing is letting rain or 
sleet drive into the ear, against which, if it were not that people do 
sometimes suffer from this cause, it would seem as if it could hardly be 
necessary to caution them. 

Another source of danger to the ear, however, arises from the very 
precautions which are sometimes taken against those last mentioned. 
Nothing is more natural than to protect the ear against cold by cover- 
ing it by a piece of cotton-wool ; and this is most useful if it is done 
only on occasions of special exposure, as when a person is compelled 
to encounter a driving storm, or has to receive on one side of the head 
the force of a cutting wind. But it is astonishing in how many cases 
the cotton-wool thus used, instead of being removed from the ear 
when the need for it has passed, is pushed down into the passage, and 
remains there, forming itself an obstruction to hearing, and becoming 
the cause of other mischiefs. Three separate pieces have sometimes 
been found thus pushed down, one upon the other. Paper rolled up, 
which is also used for protecting the ear when cotton-wool is not at 
hand, is still more irritating when it is thus left unremoved. The way 
to avoid this accident, besides being careful not to forget, is to use a 
large piece of wool, and to place it over, rather than in, the passage. 

It should be remembered that constantly covering up the ear is 
adapted to injure it. On the whole, men in whom the ear is habitually 
exposed, suffer if any thing less from ear-disease than women, in whom 
it is so often covered. Nor can the " hat " be held an unsafe head- 
dress in this respect for the latter sex. But it is important that there 
should not be frequent changes, especially in cold weather, from a 
head-dress which covers to one which exposes the ear. It is better 
that the air should always have free access to it ; but if this has not 
been the case, the summer should be chosen to make the change. 

All sorts of substances are sometimes put into the ear by children, 
who do it to themselves or to each other in ignorant play. If every 
parent and teacher warned his children against doing this, it would not 
be a useless precaution. When the accident happens, the chief danger 
is that of undue haste and violence. Such bodies should be removed 
by syringing with warm water alone, and no attempt should be made 
to lay hold of them or move them in any other way. It is enough to 


reflect, again, that the passage of the ear is closed by a delicate mem- 
brane to show the reason for this rule. When no severe pain follows, 
no alarm need be felt. It is important that the substance should be 
removed as speedily as is quite safe, but there need never be impa- 
tience ; nor should disappointment be felt if syringing needs to be 
repeated on many days before it effects its end. It will almost in- 
variably succeed at last in the hands of a medical man, and is most 
effective if the ear is turned downward and syringed from below. 

Now and then an insect gets into the ear and causes great pain ; 
the way to get rid of it is to pour oil into the ear. This suffocates the 

There is another danger arising from boyish sports. Snowballs 
sometimes strike the ear, and the snow remaining in it sets up inflam- 
mation. This danger is increased by a practice which should be inad- 
missible, of mixing small stones with the snow, which thus effect a 
lodgment in the ear. 

Among the causes of injury to the ear must unfortunately be 
reckoned bathing. Not that this most healthful and important pleas- 
ure need, therefore, be in the least discouraged ; but it should be wisely 
regulated. Staying too long in the water certainly tends to produce 
deafness as well as other evils ; and it is a practice against which 
young persons of both sexes should be carefully on their guard. But, 
independently of this, swimming and floating are attended with a cer- 
tain danger from the difficulty of preventing the entrance of water 
into the ear in those positions. Now, no cold fluid should ever enter 
the ear ; cold water is always more or less irritating, and, if used for 
syringing, rapidly produces extreme giddiness. In the case of warm 
water its entrance into the ear is less objectionable, but even this is 
not free from disadvantage. Often the water lodges in the ears and 
produces an uncomfortable sensation till it is removed : this should al- 
ways be taken as a sign of danger. That the risk to hearing from 
unwise bathing is not a fancy, is proved by the fact, well known to 
lovers of dogs, that those animals, if in the habit of jumping or being 
thrown into the water, so that their heads are covered, frequently be- 
come deaf. A knowledge of the danger is a sufficient guard. To be 
safe it is only necessary to keep the water from entering the ear. If 
this cannot be accomplished otherwise, the head may be covered. It 
should be added, however, that wet hair, whether from bathing or 
washing, may be a cause of deafness, if it be suffered to dry by itself. 
Whenever wetted, the hair should be wiped till it is fairly dry. Nor 
ought the practice of moistening the hair with water, to make it curl, to 
pass without remonstrance. To leave wet hair about the ears is to run 
great risk of injuring them. In the washing of children, too, care 
should be taken that all the little folds of the outer ear are carefully 
and gently dried with a soft towel. 

But I come now to what is probably the most frequent way in which 


the ear is impaired : that is, by the attempt to clean it. It ought to 
be understood that the passage of the ear does not require cleaning 
by us. Nature undertakes that task, and, in the healthy state, fulfils it 
perfectly. Her means for cleansing the ear is the wax. Perhaps the 
reader has never wondered what becomes of the ear-wax. I will tell 
him. It dries up into thin fine scales, and these peel off, one by one, 
from the surface of the passage, and fall out imperceptibly, leaving 
behind them a perfectly clean, smooth surface. In health the passage 
of the ear is never dirty ; but, if we attempt to clean it, we infallibly 
make it so. Here by a strange lack of justice, as it would seem, 
which, however, has no doubt a deep justice at the bottom the best 
people, those who love cleanliness, suffer most, and good and careful 
nurses do a mischief negligent ones avoid. "Washing the ear out with 
soap and water is bad ; it keeps the wax moist when it ought to be- 
come dry and scaly, increases its quantity unduly, and makes it absorb 
the dust with which the air always abounds. But the most hurtful 
thing is introducing the corner of the towel, screwed up, and twisting 
it round. This does more harm to ears than all other mistakes together. 
It drives down the wax upon the membrane, much more than it gets it 
out. Let any one who doubts this make a tube like the passage, 
especially with the curves which it possesses ; let him put a thin mem- 
brane at one end, smear its inner surface with a substance like the ear- 
wax, and then try to get it out so by a towel ! But this plan does 
much more mischief than merely pressing down the wax. It irritates 
the passage, and makes it cast off small flakes of skin, which dry up, 
and become extremely hard, and these also are pressed down upon the 
membrane. Often it is not only deafness which ensues, but pain and 
inflammation, and then matter is formed which the hard mass prevents 
from escaping, and the membrane becomes diseased, and worse may 
follow. The ear should never be cleaned out with the screwed-up corner 
of a towel. Washing should extend only to the outer surface, as far 
as the finger can reach. 

Ear-pjlcks, again, are bad. If there is any desire to use them, it 
shows that the ear is unhealthy ; and it wants soothing, not picking. 
And there is another danger from introducing any solid thing into the 
ear. The hand may^get a push, and it may go too far. Many is the 
membrane that has thus been broken by a bodkin. Sportsmen some- 
times have their membrane pierced by turning suddenly while getting 
through a hedge. And it even happens that a boy at school may put 
a pen close to another's ear, in play, and call to him to make him turn 
his head ; and the pen pierces the membrane. Very loud sounds may 
cause deafness, too. Artillerymen, and also eager sportsmen, and very 
zealous volunteers, incur a danger from this cause. It is well to stop 
the ears when exposed to loud sounds, if possible ; also to avoid bel- 
fries when the bells are about to ring. A man who was once shut up 
in one became stone-deaf before the peal was done. The sound of guns 


is more injurious to those who are in a confined space with them, and 
also if the mouth be open. Injury from loud sounds, also, is much 
more likely to occur if they are unexpected ; for, if they are anticipated, 
the membrane is prepared for them, without our knowledge, by its 
muscles. At certain points on the Rhine, it is, or was, the custom of 
the captain of the steamboat to fire a small cannon, to exhibit the echo. 
When this has been done without due warning, it has proved more 
than once a cause of lasting deafness. Sometimes these loud sounds 
rupture the membrane ; sometimes they deaden the nerve : the former 
is the least evil. 

It is a bad practice, also, to put cotton-wool soaked in laudanum or 
chloroform into the ear for the relief of toothache. It may be some- 
times effectual, for the nervous connection between the teeth and the 
ear is very close. But the ear is far too delicate and valuable an organ 
to be used as a medium for the application of strong remedies for dis- 
orders of other and less important parts ; and laudanum, and more 
especially chloroform, is a powerful irritant. The teeth should be 
looked after in and for themselves, and, if toothache spreads to the ear, 
that is the more reason for taking them thoroughly in hand ; for pro- 
longed pain in the head, arising from the teeth, may itself injure the 
hearing. When a child's ear becomes painful, as it so often does, 
every thing should be done to soothe it, and all strong, irritating appli- 
cations should be avoided. Pieces of hot fisc or onion should not be 
put in ; but warm flannels should be applied, with poppy-fomentation, 
if the pain does not soon subside. How much children suffer from 
their ears, unpitied because unknown, it would probably wring the 
hearts of those who love them suddenly to discover. It is often very 
hard, even for medical men, to ascertain that the cause of a young 
child's distress is seated in the ear, and frequently a sudden discharge 
from it, with a cessation of pain, first reveals the secret of a myste- 
rious attack which has really been an inflammation of the drum. The 
watchfulness of a parent, however, would probably suffice to detect the 
cause of suffering, if directed to this point, as well as to others. If 
children cry habitually when their ears are washed, that should not be 
neglected ; there is, most likely, some cause of pain. Many mem- 
branes are destroyed from discharges which take place during " teeth- 
ing." Whenever there is a discharge of matter from the ear, it would 
be right to pour in warm water night and morning, and so at least to 
try and to keep it clean. But into the treatment of diseases of the ear 
it would not be suitable to enter here. Abridged from the People's 

VOL. III. 10 



By J. W. GROVER, C. E. 

THE primary conception of a railway is a perfectly smooth, level, 
and straight road, upon which friction is reduced to the minimum, 
so that heavy loads may be propelled with the least possible resist- 
ance, and at the highest rate of speed. 

The earliest type of locomotive-engine was designed to run upon 
such straight and level roads, and it was supposed for many years that 
locomotives could not climb hills, or be made to go round corners. 

The first railway-carriages were a simple modification of the stage- 
coaches, names and all. It is interesting to look at the curious three- 
bodied "Marquis of Stafford" with yellow panels and windows, 
filled with ladies in large coal-scuttle bonnets as shown in one of 
Ackermann's early engravings of the Liverpool and Manchester Rail- 
way, the only substantial diiference being that, inasmuch as the rail- 
ways of those days were made nearly straight, no arrangement was 
provided for allowing the axles of the carriage to radiate as they do 
partially in common road-vehicles, but both axles were rigidly fast- 
ened so as to be immovable. 

Again, as all road-vehicles have to turn abrupt corners, their wheels 
are made to turn independently upon their axles, but, so soon as flanges 
were employed to keep the wheels of the railway-carriages between 
two straight rails, this arrangement was found unnecessary, and, to 
obtain greater strength and security, the wheels were rigidly fastened 
to the axle, and both were compelled to revolve together. 

Now, since the primary conception of the perfectly smooth, straight 
road, a great degeneracy has been of necessity taking place ; with 
greatly increased demands, less capital than ever has been forthcom- 
ing ; consequently the great cuttings and embankments of early days 
are being abandoned as precedents, and it becomes necessary that rail- 
ways should approach more closely to the form of ordinary roads, 
which follow the surface of the ground only, at small cost. 

Hence it follows that the rolling-stock itself must revert more 
nearly to its original pattern, readopting those contrivances which, 
under altered circumstances, were discarded. 

Let lis keep to the most elementary principles, for it is these which 
are forgotten and misunderstood, and yet should be engraven on brass 
and hung up in every railway board-room in the world. On a com- 
mon road, a horse can pull a ton weight in a cart behind him on 
the level at 4 to A\ miles an hour, or, which is the same thing, if a 
weight of 70 lbs. were hung over a pulley and lowered down a well, 
he could pull it up at the speed mentioned. It is necessary to be a 


little explicit, as the remarks in this paper are intended for non-tech- 
nical readers particularly. Now, if two strips of iron called rails are 
laid upon the aforesaid road, the friction is reduced sevenfold ; that is 
to say, the same horse at the same speed could draw 7 tons, the differ- 
ence between macadam and iron being as 70 lbs. to 10 lbs. This im- 
mense advantage, however, disappears when gradients have to be en- 
countered, because the resistance due to gravity becomes so greatly in 
excess of the resistance due to friction, and is constant in both cases. 
For instance, if on a common road, up a slope of one foot in ten, the 
horse takes 5 cwt. in a cart over the macadam, if rails be laid down up 
the same hill, he could only increase the burden behind him by a little 
more than 1 cwt., or, in all, Q\ cwts. ; hence, in this case, the value of 
the rails is nearly lost. Hence the small use of tramways where hills 

Upon a very good macadamized road the resistance due to friction 
is usually taken at about one-thirtieth of the whole load carried ; that 
is to say, if the vehicle were put upon a road sloping 1 in 30, it would 
just begin to move of itself. But, upon a railway, under the most fa- 
vorable conditions, the resistance due to friction has been reduced to 
the two-hundred-and-eightieth part of the whole load carried ; that is 
to say, the vehicle will begin to move of itself on a gradient of 1 in 
280. In considering the work which a horse can perform on a tram- 
way, it is important to bear in mind the question of speed ; for, accord- 
ing to the experiments of Tredgold, he can draw exactly four times as 
much at two miles an hour as he can at five, and it appears that, at 
three miles an hour, be does the greatest amount of actual useful work, 
whereas, at ten miles an hour, only one-fourth of his actual power is 
available, and he cannot exert that for an hour and a half; whereas, at 
two and a half miles an hour, he can continue working for eight hours. 
Having these data before us, it is easy to compare the values of steam 
and horse-flesh : Suppose coals to cost in the midland districts 18s. 8c?. 
a ton only, or one-tenth of a penny per pound, and, assuming that an 
average locomotive-engine will not consume more than 5 lbs. of conl in 
the hour per horse-power, the cost of fuel per horse-power will be a 
halfpenny per hour. Taking the value of the horse's provender at 
Is. 9d. a day only, and supposing he works for six hours, that would 
cost Z\d. an hour against a halfpenny in the case of steam, or, as 7 to 1 
in favor of steam; and this result is obtained on the supposition that 
the horse travels only at three miles an hour. 

Now, to sum up the combined advantages, therefore, of an engine 
on a level railway against a horse on a level common road at 10 miles 
an hour, we shall find that the former gives an economy over the latter 
of nearly 300 to 1 ; at 5 miles an hour, it would stand as 115 to 1 ; 
and, at 2^ miles an hour, as 64 to 1. 

Such are the enormous advantages of steam and rails, and with 
them does it not seem astonishing that better financial results have 


not been obtained? There must be something wrong somewhere. As 
Art emus Ward says, " Why is this thus, and what is the reason of 
this thusness ? " 

Speed is the delinquent, and the cause of the loss of the great pri- 
mary advantages : the vehicles on railways are propelled very fast ; 
hence they involve great strength in their construction, and enormous 
w T eight in proportion to the paying load carried. 

An old stage-coach, according to Nicholas Wood, weighed only 16 
to 18 cwts., and would carry upward of 2 tons of paying passengers 
with their luggage, or about T % of a hundred-weight of dead load to 
every hundred-weight of paying load. Now, a third-class carriage 
with four compartments would represent 2.8 cwts. of dead weight to 
every 1 cwt. of paying load. Therefore, the stage-coach has the ad- 
vantage over the third-class railway-carriage of 6^ to 1. 

It becomes impossible to institute any absolute comparison between 
roads and railways at speeds above 10 miles an hour, because such 
speeds are impossible on the former for any considerable distance. 
Again, the question of a gradient has to be noticed, for in the preced- 
ing remarks a level road and a level railway have only been con- 

As has been explained, where steep gradients occur, the resistance 
due to gravity so much outweighs that due to friction that rails afford 
a comparatively insignificant advantage, and one which is entirely lost 
if the stock has to be increased in weight 6^ times. 

It may easily be shown that, on a gradieut of 1 in 10, for instance, 
taking the foregoing figures, the advantages of a steam-worked rail- 
wav over a horse-worked road would be little more than one-fourth, 
if the stock on the former be only 6^ times heavier in proportion than 
the latter would require. Hence it follows that no railway having 
gradients of 1 in 10 could be worth making (assuming such to be pos- 
sible) unless the stock upon it were assimilated to that of the ordinary 
omnibus or stage-coach type. 

In former times calculations were made by Nicholas Wood of the 
comparative costs of conveyance on ordinary roads by horses; he 
showed that on an average a stage-wagon could carry at the rate of 
2 miles an hour profitably at 8c?. a ton per mile ; that a light van or 
cart at 4 miles an hour could take for Is. a mile a ton of goods. Pas- 
sengers in stage-coaches were charged 3c?. a mile each, or 3s. 6c?. a ton, 
at 9 miles an hour. Now, let us consider what railways actually do. 
At the present moment coals are conveyed at -fc?. per ton per mile, at 
an average speed of 20 miles an hour; and this low rate actually 
leaves a profit. Excursion-trains take passengers at less than \d. each 
per mile, at twenty miles an hour, or at Id. a ton a mile. 

Now, bearing in mind the relative proportions of paying and non- 
paying loads involved in carrying passengers and coals, a simple cal- 
culation will show that a ton of passengers could be carried for 



something less than id. a mile, or T ^ part of a penny each. For, 
although passengers require station accommodation, they unload 
themselves, which coals do not. 

In the autumn of 1869, the Times took up the railway problem, 
and, in a series of very able articles, endeavored to show the errors of 
the present state of things. Although advocated by so powerful a 
pen, the reforms still remain unaccomplished indeed, uucommenced. 
It was then shown that in practice every passenger on a railway in- 
volved over 2 tons of iron and timber to carry him. Or, according 
to Mr. Haughton, no more than 30 per cent, of the load which is 
hauled by a goods-train represents paying weight, the remaining 70 
per cent, being dead weight. This seems astonishing truly, but it is 
nothing to the passenger-trains, where only 5 per cent., or even less, 
of the load pays, the remaining 95 per cent, being made up of ap- 
parently dead and unprofitable material. It is well to keep this clearly 
in view. In talking about a passenger, with relation to a railway, one 
must not picture to one's self a respectable English country gentleman, 
riding perhaps some 14 stone, but some Homeric giant, magnified into 
prehistoric proportions, weightier than an ordinary Ceylonese elephant, 
and representing about 20 to 25 full sacks of coal, or 2^ tons. Ab- 
stract from Quarterly Journal of Science. 




LET us now dwell a little on two grand facts presented to us by 
the animated world, these two properties of living beings equally 
undeniable and unintelligible in their essence habit, and hereditary 
tendency ; and let us see how, in Darwin's theory, they will combine 
with intelligence. As the theory is well known, we need not state it. 
Cuvier believed in the unchangeableness of the animal forms placed 
on the globe by the Creator after each of the great convulsions through 
which, as he held, our planet has passed. Modern geology questions 
these violent commotions, and Darwin, taking up in his turn Lamarck's 
ideas, after fifty years of scientific progress, maintains, by almost irre- 
sistible arguments, that animal forms, instead of being unchangeable, as 
Cuvier supposed, are slowly modified, under the control of time, of cir- 
cumstances, and of the energies with which each individual and each 
race "fight the battle of existence." That individual which brings 
into life a slight yet advantageous modification of its organs will sue- 


ceed better in life than another. It will have every chance, then, of 
leaving a more numerous posterity. If the advantageous modification 
is transmitted, which may occur through hereditary tendency, the de- 
scendants of this individual will have, in their turn, the chance of suc- 
ceeding better than their contemporaries. The modification, then, in 
all probability, will go on becoming more general, by the same law of 
fatality that causes a strong people to absorb a weak one: so that, 
after a longer or shorter time, the whole race will end by presenting 
the modification which was only individual at the outset. And since 
there was no reason why the same phenomenon, so natural and so 
simple, should not be repeated indefinitely, with all imaginable varia- 
tions, we understand how it may result, in the infinite lapse of time, in 
that multiplicity of forms and characters which distinguishes animal 
species to our eyes. 

Darwin says, in those pages in which he treats of instinct, that, if it 
were possible to prove that a habit might become hereditary, all distinc- 
tion between habit and instinct would absolutely vanish. Darwin's lit- 
erary procedure is that of always urging his reader further than he 
seems to go himself. He suggests the best arguments in the world with 
a doubtful air, and one is every moment surprised to find one's self so 
strongly convinced when the author seems convinced so little. And, 
in fact, we cannot deny that young puppies often come to a point the 
very first time they are sent out hunting, and that even better than 
others after long training. The habit of saving life is hereditary in 
some breeds, just as the shepherd's dog has the habit of walking around 
the flock. All these acts are performed, without the aid of experience, 
by the young as well as the old, and certainly apart from any notion 
of the object at the first time, at least. The objection is idle that 
only those habits imposed by men on brutes are transmitted in this 
way. More than one instance, taken from wild animals, proves the 
contrary. The best is perhaps that which we see clone by a bird of 
our own country, the oriole. It has a very peculiar cradle-shaped nest, 
hung from the fork of a branch, sewed at the edges with flexible grass, 
and always with bits of string, shreds, or packthread. There is no 
oriole's nest without some fastening worked by man's hand. If this is 
a habit, it is hereditary ; if it is an instinct, it will be admitted at least 
that it does not go back to the beginning of the world. 

From birth, one individual, or several individuals of the same spe- 
cies, placed in similar conditions,. have had some habit. One of two 
things : this habit is injurious, or it is useful ; it is either good or bad, 
from the point of view of the preservation of the individual, and con- 
sequently of the species. If it is injurious, it necessarily tends to dis- 
appear, either with the individual which has taken it on, or with the 
descendants which will inherit from it. If the habit is favorable, it 
has the chance of transmitting itself under the form of an instinct. 
This instinct, at first confined to a few individuals of the same blood, 


tends to become general, since it is advantageous, and we thus fall 
back into a particular case of the great principle of natural selection 
formulated by Darwin. Let us go on. Thus far this instinct is but 
little complicated, since it has only the significance of a habit that one 
individual may have been able to take up with its share of intelli- 
gence. Now that it is seen rooted under the form of instinct, each in- 
dividual in its turn, with its own share of intelligence, may be able to 
add something to it of its own accord. If that addition is still favor- 
able, and again gets transmitted, it will tend in the same way to be- 
come general ; the acquired instinct will grow so much the more com- 
plex ; and, exactly as organic modifications scarcely perceptible, but 
accumulated successively, to a sufficient number, have been able to 
multiply animal forms infinitely, so instinct, by almost imperceptible 
but continuous additions, may be able to end by reaching that state of 
perfection in which philosophers had supposed they saw the convincing 
proof of a preestablished harmony. 

Some naturalists even now are not, very fortunately, inspired when 
they attempt to prove to us that the corporeal organization of every 
animal is conceived and framed with regard to its instincts. We need 
not go far to learn, as indeed we might expect from what has gone be- 
fore, that instinct is in many cases independent of external forms. All 
birds, whether they are masons, like the swallow ; weavers, like the 
warbler; carpenters, like the crow ; mound-builders, like the megapode 
have the same beak, the same claws, and forms almost the same. 
The European beaver, inhabiting the affluents of the Rhone and the 
Danube, is scarcely to be distinguished from the American beaver, yet 
he has quite a different kind of work to do. The American beaver, 
on his lakes and great, lonely rivers, builds the famous houses so well 
known ; the European beaver burrows long galleries underground in 
the manner of moles. If he has always done so, what becomes of that 
supposed necessary correlation between the organs and the instinct of 
a burrowing animal on one continent, a building animal on the other, 
with the same members for two objects so different ? If the European 
beaver did once build huts, where shall we find more decisive testimony 
in favor of the theory of mutability in instincts ? Pursued for his 
warm covering and his flesh, he has changed his instincts, before in- 
vading civilization, more rapidly than his external form. It is a point 
well established at this day that the contact with man has had a deci- 
sive effect on the instinct of many animals. It is thus that in inhabited 
countries large birds take flight at his approach, while they still allow 
him to come close to them in countries visited by travellers for the 
first time. Wherever they have been hunted like a prey that is worth 
the trouble of pursuit for their flesh or their feathers, they have formed 
the habit, and then have had the instinct of taking flight. 

Let us return to insects. Two instincts, the most remarkable among 
all, are presented by them ; that of the bee, with its mathematical 


architecture, and that of the ant, with its mixed societies. Before in- 
quiring whether it might not be possible to explain even such amazing 
instincts by habit and inherited tendency, it is important at the outset 
to remove an objection that might be supposed unanswerable. Those 
individuals that have these instincts in the hive or in the ant-hill are 
neuters that is to say, they are neither male nor female, and must 
consequently die without posterity. How explain the way in which a 
habit acquired by a neuter can be transmitted, can grow into an in- 
stinct, in the neuters of following generations, which will not descend 
from that first one? Yet the difficulty is not so great as it seems, and 
Darwin points it out very well. Indeed, it is not the instincts of the 
neuters which concern him, but it is the special organic modifications 
that these present, in connection with their social duties with some, 
labor, and with others, fighting ; but the reasoning he employs can be 
applied as well to instincts, behind which there always apj>ears, as we 
see by a little reflection, that latent modification of the cerebral organ 
through which the transmission has taken place. 

Darwin begins with a reminder that the principle of natural selec- 
tion is true as well for communities as for individuals. The strength of 
a single male in a wild herd, the extraordinary fecundity of a single fe- 
male, will be the elements of prosperity. The herd will succeed better 
than the rest. The qualities of the individual from which it draws its 
advantage will have a chance of being transmitted at first to all the 
herd, and this, more and more favored in the struggle against the 
outer world, will absorb the rest. The modification, at first individual, 
will become general. It would be the same if the member of the herd 
benefited in the beginning had been a neuter. We are still speaking 
of external forms. Let us suppose that a certain number of neuters 
may have brought from birth a favorable organic modification into a 
community of insects, and that by this the community has prospered ; 
the males and females who have produced these neuters will then have, 
by them, the greatest possible chances of posterity. It may happen 
thenceforward that they transmit to their descendants what they had 
themselves that is to say, the property of procreating neuters having 
the same favorable organic modification and we thus fall back into 
the common process of natural selection. Such is Darwin's explana- 
tion ; he is well aware, when he gives it, complex as it is, that it is the 
touchstone of his theory, the side whence attack will come ; therefore, 
how he strengthens his arguments ! He is no longer satisfied with ex- 
plaining, he demonstrates ; he is supposed to have exhausted his rea- 
sons, and this is the very moment he chooses for an appeal to experi- 
ment, and to the proof of that kind of paradox that might be called 
"hereditary tendency in sterility." There are oxen with horns a little 
longer than those of the bulls and heifers that produced them. " Well," 
says Darwin, "pair together, by attentive selection, the fertile de- 
scendants of the bulls and heifers that produced the oxen w 7 ith longer 


horns, and before long you will have a race of oxen in which length 
of horns will he hereditary, although the animal is sterile." The ex- 
periment has yet to be made, and is worthy of being a temptation to 
some one of the great English lords who know so well how to spend 
their fortunes for the advance of science. There is every reason to 
believe that it would succeed; and, if this striking instance ever comes, 
to justify Darwin's theories in their points most difficult of explana- 
tion, how can we avoid accepting them in their completeness, as well 
for external forms as for instinct ? 

Neuters in a community bring at their birth an intellectual dispo- 
sition, a special tendency. The community benefits by it, and pros- 
pers ; but the parents of these neuters have produced, besides, males and 
females, who will be able to inherit in their turn the property of giving 
life to neuters having the same disposition or the same tendency with 
the first. This becomes hereditary ; it fixes itself in the race ; it is 
thenceforward an instinct ; and it will be able to continue developing 
itself thus by a sort of collateral inheritance. The source of it will 
continue in the parents without its being necessary that they should 
have it themselves, exactly as the reason for the long horns of the 
oxen is in the parent bull and heifer which have only short ones them- 

Even after confuting this great objection of the neuters, the prob- 
lem of explaining the architecture of bees by natural conditions seemed 
still to defy every attempt. -Yet Darwin undertook to solve it. Aided 
by the experiments of his countryman Waterhouse, he shows that all 
this labor, worthy of the most practised geometrician, can be reduced, in 
the last analysis, to a certain number of very simple habits, taken in 
succession, so that by a linking together of facts, hypothetical, it is 
true, yet all perfectly plausible and possible, we arrive at the discovery, 
in the biological laws already known, of a natural explanation of that 
instinct which seems to share in the miraculous. We know the subject 
in question. The cells of the bee are six-sided prisms of perfect regu- 
larity. The most interesting point is the bottom of the cell ; it is 
formed of a hollow pyramid of three equal sides, and arranged in such 
a manner that each contributes its share, on the other side of 
the comb, to make the bottom of a distinct cell ; the bottom of each 
cell thus rests on three cells on the other side of the comb. Buffon 
did not remark this combination ; he only spoke of the regular hex- 
agonal design of the whole, and on this subject he had a singular idea. 
"The bees," he said, " all want to make a cylindrical chamber for them- 
selves in the wax, but room is wanting ; on the comb, which is too 
small, each one attempts to settle itself in the way most convenient 
for itself, at the same time that all are equally in each other's way. 
The cells are hexagonal only on account of reciprocal obstacles. For 
the same reason," he adds, " as, if we fill a vessel with peas or cylin- 
drical grains, shut it tightly after pouring in as much water as the 


intervals between these grains can receive, and set the water boiling, 
all these cylinders will become six-sided columns." Buffon's com- 
parison has been a good deal laughed at, yet it is not altogether bad. 
He understood that each cell with its sides cut at regular angles was 
not an individual work, nor the direct execution of the original plan ; 
that it was a kind of resultant brought about by the forced neighbor- 
hood, the mutual crowding and hindering of constructions conceived 
on a simpler plan, and one more usual among insect^, the cylindrical 

The humble-bees, which are hymenopterous insects, like honey- 
bees, put their store of honey away in their old cocoons. When the 
vessel is too small, they add to it at the opening a prolongation of wax. 
It may even occur that they build single cells, of an irregular globular 
form ; this is a first step, the primitive wax-working. There is noth- 
ing very remarkable yet in this ; but the next step becomes more im- 
portant. Between this rude simplicity and the work, so finished, of 
the bee, we find something intermediate, the honey-cells of the domes- 
tic melipone, of Mexico. The insect itself forms a transition, by its 
external mai-ks, between the honey-bee and the humble-bee, and is 
nearer to the latter. To preserve its honey, it builds a pile of large 
spherical cells, all placed at equal distances apart, only that this dis- 
tance is everywhere less than twice the radius of the spheres, so that 
they all encroach on each other, and are kept apart by a perfectly flat 
partition, having exactly the same thicknjess as the curved wall that 
bounds the free and spherical portion of each cell. If three are found 
to adjoin, the lines of separation cross at equal angles, and their com- 
mon meeting-point rests on the top of a pyramid with three walls 
formed by the three cells, exactly as in a honeycomb. Reflecting on 
all this, Darwin says the thought occurred to him that, if the melipone, 
which already builds its spheres at equal distances apart, were to come 
to disposing them symmetrically and back to back upon two opj>osite 
sides, there would result from this fact a construction as admirable as 
the bottom of a double rank of cells in the hive. 

Has the constructive genius of the wasp and the bee passed through 
theee transitions ? It is impossible to assert it ; but the evidence 
shows, and calculation confirms it, that some modifications, slight 
enough definitely, occurring in the instincts of the melipone, might 
lead it, after an indefinite number of ages we must always calculate 
on such periods of time to build those three-angled pyramids which 
are already found in its constructions, in two or three ranks ; then to 
build upon those pyramids, on each side, prolongations cylindrical in 
principle, like those which the humble-bee puts on its cocoons, and 
prism-shaped from their nearness to each other. Besides, such a con- 
struction upon a flat surface of its honey-cells by the melipone would 
be nothing very extraordinary ; in this way it builds the little cham- 
bers where it deposits its grubs. 


In the general effort that produces the honey-comb, it is important 
to make allowance for that supreme law of necessity which Buffon 
refers to, and which compels each insect, if it makes a mistake in its 
measurements, to begin its work again, under penalty of seeing it de- 
stroyed by its neighbors. The bee's cell is no more an individual 
work than it is a work finished all at once. At the beerinniner, the 
six-sided plan is scarcely indicated ; the original wall is clumsy, often-, 
times too thick ; it is attempted a second time, made thinner at the 
bottom, thickened at the top, crowded by force into its right place, 
and worked over and over constantly to the last perfection. The geo- 
metric regularity of the whole is the result of long tentative work. A 
multitude of bees are laboring on it at once, each for a time at one 
cell, then at another, and so on ; twenty insects at least busy them- 
selves with the first chamber, which at the outset is very irregular; 
new chambers are added, and the first remade. On all these points 
Darwin and other English naturalists have made very curious experi- 
ments, which deserve to be cited along with the observations of 
Francis Huber. He observed, to learn ; they experimented, to explain. 
By dealing with swarms or individuals properly isolated, by modify- 
ing their conditions of labor, by deceiving their instinct, we should 
doubtless succeed in decomposing it by a kind of physiological analy- 
sis, at the same time that we should ascertain more clearly the toler- 
ably large share that intelligence probably has in this industry of the 
bee. This is an aspect of the problem that is perhaps too much neg- 
lected by Darwin, but indicated by Mdlle. Clemence Royer in the 
notes added by her to the French translation of the " Origin of Spe- 
cies." We may ask, Why should not the bee itself be sensitive to that 
harmony of lines which strikes our eye in its work? Why deny so 
simple an impression as that which springs from regularity, to that 
brain which is of tiny dimensions, it is true, but which is quick to 
seize relations of far greater complexity between cause and effect, 
quick to choose the best place, to avoid an obstacle, to pursue with 
eye and sting the enemy of the hive ? We have seen how the ant un- 
derstands when an object is too large to pass through the entrance to 
its cave. The bee, to which we would attribute sensitiveness to regu- 
larity of lines, certainly has the notion of relations of length. There 
is a large moth, the death's-head sphinx, very fond of honey, and 
which asks nothing better than to make its way into the hive; its 
body, hairy and covered with horny plates, defies the sting. The bees, 
dreading this unwelcome visit, know very well how to protect them- 
selves from it in regions where the sphinx abounds. As soon as the 
earliest ones begin to show themselves in the evenings of the longest 
days, as M. Blanohard relates, the bees narrow the opening of the hive 
in such a way that the robber can no longer get in. When the season 
for this moth has gone by, they desti'oy the new construction, and re- 
build the passage of its original size. Certainly these are creatures 


that have a measuring eye ! Is there, then, so wide a distance be- 
tween this power of eye and the sense of symmetry, which the lowest 
savage has who is sensitive to the harmony in the lines of a carving or 
a tattooing ? Is it not simpler to suppose that the bee has something 
of the same sensibility, rather than a sort of mathematical instinct, 
such as is sometimes attributed to it? The whole cerebral physiology 
of insects remains to be created. While we are no further advanced, 
it is perhaps rash to allow much to their intellectual faculties, but it is 
certainly unreasonable to degrade them too much. And, besides, 
there is still in us that old sin of pride, on which Montaigne rallies us 
so delicately, just with respect to the reason of animals. He under- 
stood animals much better than Descartes ; he loves them, he plays 
with his cat, and this intercourse enlightens him ; he speaks with 
sound judgment of the too narrow share of intelligence allowed to 
animals by man, while he himself" goes soaring in imagination beyond 
the orbit of the moon." 

As to the legionary ants, the connection of the successive phenom- 
ena serving to explain the appearance and development of their in- 
stinct was far more difficult to conceive. We might well have despaired 
of any reasonable deduction, had not certain facts, here and there in 
Nature, come to our aid and put us on the right track, by showing us 
elsewhere the same instinct, less developed, or modified in different 
ways. These observations, coordinated by Darwin, have been like 
flashes of light, and have allowed us to conceive the evolution of these 
singular habits in a manner at least plausible. Thus, it is not uncom- 
mon that certain ants, which do not usually take auxiliaries, carry away 
to their hills nymphae that are found by chance in their neighborhood. 
It is not unlikely that some of these nymphae may have happened to 
come out, and may have performed the functions of their special in- 
stinct in their adopted city. If, now, it is admitted that these services 
may be of some use to the hill, then it will thrive better, and afterward 
it may happen that the same chance captives and chance comings-out 
of nymphaB may be repeated. At last, the habit will be formed 
then the instinct will supervene, of carrying off stolen nympha?. At 
the same time the presence of these strangers will almost necessarily 
react upon the robber-ants. Their instincts and their organs will be 
simultaneously modified, always upon the same principle, in the direc- 
tion most favorable to the special duty that they perform in the com- 
munity. From step to step, by a succession of scarcely-perceptible 
modifications, accumulating through centuries and ages, we shall ar- 
rive at races of legionaries as dependent on their comrades' labors as 
the species studied by Peter Huber. 

Each instinct that we study displays itself to us, in a manner, under 
an absolute form ; we never see it change ; therefore it is said to be 
unchangeable. This is the illusion common to all phenomena that are 
too slow for their progress to be measured by the life or the memory 


of man. Yet the European beaver and the oriole give us examples of 
instincts that go back to a date relatively not very ancient. We 
know now, too, that the nests of the same species of birds sometimes 
present remarkable enough variations in different countries. That 
Darwin should point out with great care these instincts, varying with 
latitudes, is very natural ; but we should less naturally expect to find 
a similar fact, in the book of a partisan, of the unchangeableness of 
instincts. The leaf-cutter, another hymenopterous insect, lays its eggs 
in little chambers made of bits of leaves which it has rapidly cut. In 
our country it is always a rose-leaf. Yet, "we are assured," says M. 
Blanchard, "that our cutter of rose-leaves, finding itself in some place 
in Russia where there are no rose-bushes, makes its nest with willow 
or osier leaves." Therefore, instinct must vary in space as it has va- 
ried in time ! It is not at all the case that the same legionaries are 
everywhere as dependent on their comrades as those that Peter Huber 
saw in the environs of Geneva. In England, as in Switzerland, the 
auxiliaries reared by the dark-red ants take complete care of the larvae, 
while the legionaries alone go on expeditions ; but in Switzerland the 
two castes together busy themselves about all works of construction 
or supply, while in England the legionaries alone go out to gather 
provisions and materials ; the auxiliaries remain shut up within ; they 
thus render less service to the community than they do in Switzerland. 
It will be said, perhaps, that these differences are a very trifling 
matter. They are, at least, enough to show how the ancient doctrine 
of Cuvier has been shaken, and how, in the infinite lapse of time, 
those instincts may have become developed, which mere geographical 
accidents suffice to modify slightly. The grand solution of instinct is 
Time ; that immeasurable duration of those geological epochs which 
our mind holds in contemplation, but of which it can no more form an 
idea than of the measure of the heavenly spaces. Modern science be- 
gins to be amazed at those figures of ages which it must count since 
the rude attempts at primitive human industry. What shall we think 
of those times, measured by the planet's growth, through which the 
instinct of the legionary ants may have been originated, defined, and 
perfected ? The ant not only saw the epoch of the reindeer and the 
mammoth, and the glaciers of the Jura creeping down the valley of 
the Rhone it was a contemporary of that period which geologists 
mark by the lifting of the Alps. The ant is older on the earth than 
Mont Blanc. They existed already in the Jurassic period, very little 
different from what they are in our own times. While an inland sea 
still flowed over the site where later Paris was to stand, they were 
multitudinous in the central regions of Europe that were out of water. 
We may judge of this by the mass of their remains ; they fill thick 
layers of territory at Oeningen, on the shores of Lake Constance, and 
at Radoboj, in Croatia ; the rock is black with ants, all wonderfully, 
preserved, with their claws and delicate antennae. Entomologists now 


count fifty species in Europe. More than a hundred have been found 
by Ileer, of Zurich, and Mayr, of Vienna, in the cantons of Oeningen 
and Radoboj alone; several seem identical with existing species. Most 
of them have wings ; these are males and females. Workers are rare ; 
and that is explained by the nature of the rock, deposited at the bot- 
tom of still waters. The winged insects fell into it by thousands; the 
workers, more lowly in existence, attached to earth, have left fewer 
victims in the streams that preserve the record of that age. For the 
same reason, those sepulchres, so rich in species, teach us nothing of 
the habits or abodes of the ants of that time. What we do know is, 
that there were also plant-lice in the country, and that the larvae of 
phryganes made for themselves even then, as they do now, those cases 
in which they live, and which they carry about everywhere with them. 
Some of these have been found at Oeningen. We have butterflies' 
wings of that era with their marks, if not with their coloring. Who 
knows whether we shall not some day discover a wasps'-nest dropped 
from a bough, and a trifle less regular than those of to-day ? Even 
were it just as perfect, that would in nowise weaken the hypothesis of 
progressive development in the instinct by which it was built. Should 
we not have, beyond the Jurassic epoch, an enormous past, beside 
which the actual age now of the deposits of Oeningen and Radoboj is, 
perhaps, like a day or an hour in the history of man ? 

The grand result which the introduction of Darwin's ideas into bio- 
logical science has had is, beyond question, to have transformed a sub- 
ject hitherto deemed unapproachable and insolvable into a question of 
development that may be attacked by our investigations. Instinct, 
like the outward forms of animals, has always been made dependent 
on those first causes too high for man to raise his look to them. The 
observations of the English naturalist have brought the problem upon 
new ground ; his logic, his science, have forced the world to accept at 
last the ideas formerly defended by Cuvier's opponents, by Lamarck 
and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. The doctrine of the immutability of ani- 
mal forms has had its time, and that of the invariability of instinct is 
falling into ruin. Darwin proves, in fact, that it suffices to admit the 
principle of intelligence, which no one now denies to animals, and then 
the twofold influence of habit and hereditary tendency, and last that 
law, stated by himself, of absorption of the poorly-endowed races by 
these better endowed, to reach the conclusion that the finely-perfected 
instinct of the bee or the ant is nothing more than a purely natural 
phenomenon, a necessary consequence of life. The most complex in- 
stinct is merely an hereditary accumulation of very simple habits, of 
which the first source was always in the spontaneous intelligence of 
the individual. Instinct, then, including that of neuter animals, may 
be defined, "a group of habits, slowly acquired, and fixed by inheri- 
tance." Then it appears to us as independent, in some degree, of the 
forms of the animal ; the variations it presents find their explanation ; 



it is contingent, it originates, it is modified, through circumstances, 
aided by time, and through ages helped by scarcely-perceptible acci- 
dents. In its turn, it insensibly leads the organs to become perfect in 
the direction conformed to the use made of them by the animal. Re- 
garded in this way, connected in the last analysis with other first prop- 
erties from which it results, instinct, instead of baffling investigation 
by the human mind, as they do, becomes a possible and proper object 
of research by experimental science. It is a new horizon opening be- 
fore the physiologist for the discovery of the laws of life. Revue des 
Deux Mondes. 


Professor Henslow. 


JOHN STEPHENS HENSLOW is described as having been a 
beautiful boy with brown curling hair, a fine straight nose, a 
brilliant complexion, soft eyes, and a smile that reached everybody's 

1 The subject of the present sketch, who became an eminent clergyman, botanical pro- 
fessor, and scientific philanthropist, was born in Kent, England, in 1796. For the prin- 
cipal facts of the present article we are indebted to his biography by Rev. Leonard 
Jenyns, Henslow's brother-in-law, published by Van Voorst, of LondoD, and we hare 
made free use of his statements. Ed. 


heart. He was active, observant, and intelligent, a favorite partner at 
childish parties, and danced elegantly. This beautiful boyhood un- 
folded into a noble manhood, which took a turn so original and in- 
structive, that we cannot do better than give some account of it to the 
readers of the Populab Science Monthly. 

Young Henslow early developed a taste for the study of natural ob- 
jects, and for making collections and experiments. His scientific future 
was symbolized by an adventure made while yet a child in a frock, 
and which consisted in dragging all the way home from a field, a con- 
siderable distance off, an enormous fungus which was dried and long 
preserved in the family. The lad had good blood and a good chance ; 
his grandfather, Sir John Henslow, Chief Surveyor of the Navy, was a 
man of scientific attainments and much ingenuity ; his mother was an 
accomplished woman, fond of natural history, and an assiduous col- 
lector of natural and artificial curiosities. His father had a great taste 
for birds, kept an extensive aviary, and had an ample library of nat- 
ural history. The drawing-master at his school was a good entomol- 
ogist and introduced the boy to some of the eminent naturalists of 
the day, who gave direction to his studies. He collected insects in the 
woodsof Kent, and Crustacea and shells from the bed of the Medway . 
many of his specimens were new and valuable, and found their way 
into the drawers of the British Museum. At the age of eighteen 
he entered St. John's College, Cambridge, and four years later took 
his degree of B. A. A year subsequently, in 1819, he accompanied 
Prof. Sedgwick to the Isle of Wight, where he took his first practical 
lessons in geology. He had been elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society 
in 1818, became a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1819, and made 
his first essay in authorship by a contribution to its proceedings in 1821, 
when twenty-five years of age. Mr. Henslow had paid much atten- 
tion to mathematics in college, was a thorough student of mineralogy 
and chemistry, and took a leading part in founding the Cambridge 
Philosophical Society, in 1819. In 1822 he was elected Professor of 
Mineralogy in the Cambridge University. He was not an eloquent 
lecturer, but he had a good voice, and a remarkably clear way of ex- 
pressing himself. He cultivated the art of explanation and adapting 
his language to the capacity of his hearers, and thus became one of 
the very best lecturers of the day. But the chair of Mineralogy was 
not what Prof. Henslow wanted. His favorite study was botany, and, 
a vacancy occurring in this professorship, Prof. Henslow was elected 
to the position in 1823. This science, and natural history generally, 
were in a low state in the university at that time. 1 His predecessor 

i " In a low state," the reader must remember, not merely from neglect, but from hos- 
tility on the part of the classicists and mathematicians who had possession of the estab- 
lishment. Even years afterward, when, mainly under Prof. Henslow's influence, natural 
history studies began to receive attention, Edward Forbes spent a couple of days in 
Cambridge and wrote : " I was greatly pleased with my visit, except in one thing to 


had held the professorship for sixty-three years, and was a very old 
man. In fact, there had been no lectnres on botany given in Cambridge 
for at least thirty years. Prof. Henslow took hold of the work with 
great zeal, improved the Botanical Gardens, rearranged and extended 
the Botanical Museum, and established one of the most perfect collec- 
tions of plants to be anywhere found. He made his lectures extremely 
interesting by always having large numbers of specimens on hand 
which the students were required to study directly. He often took 
his class on botanizing excursions, which tended greatly to rouse their 
interest in the subject. Entomologists and mineralogists often ac- 
companied them, and Prof. Henslow's extensive acquaintance with 
all branches of natural history, and the delight he took in imparting 
information to all who sought it, served to kindle an enthusiasm which 
aided very much to raise the position of science in the university. 

Prof. Henslow married in 1823. His parents had always been 
desirous that he should go into the Church, and, as the salary from his 
professorship was less than a thousand dollars a year, and insufficient 
to support his family, he took orders and accepted a curacy which 
yielded him some additional income. His engaging manners and sym- 
pathetic disposition, combined with his intellectual accomplishments, 
gave him great influence over the students, which was felt not only in 
directing their tastes and pursuits, but in the formation of character. 
As soon as he became settled in Cambridge as a married man, he in- 
stituted the practice of receiving at his own house, one evening in the 
week, all who took the slightest interest in scientific, and especially 
natural history studies. At these gatherings all might learn some- 
thing, and every one went away pleased. He would seek out any of 
the students that were reported to him as attached to natural history, 
and made converts to his favorite science of not a few who were 
thrown accidentally in his way. If any young man through timidity 
or reserve shrank from going to the professor's house, the open-hearted 
welcome which he received soon inspired confidence and put him at 
his ease. There are many now among the first naturalists of England 
who were then students at Cambridge, and who gratefully acknowl- 
edge the encouragement and assistance they received from Prof. Hens- 
low, and bear testimony to his rare excellences, both of head and 
heart. Among these is the now world-renowned naturalist Mr. Charles 
Darwin, who furnished to Prof. Henslow's biographer the following 
reminiscences, which will interest the reader as well on account of the 
writer as of their subject. Mr. Darwin says : 

find that natural history is discouraged as much as possible, and regarded as idle trifling 
by the thousand-and-one mathematicians of that venerated university." It was a life-long 
struggle of Prof. Henslow to raise natural history to a coordinate place with other sub- 
jects of university study, and it was but a short time before his death, in 1861, that he 
saw the triumph of his efforts. Degrees were then first granted to those who had ob- 
tained "honors" in natural history studies. 
vol. in. 11 


"I went to Cambridge early in the year 1828, and soon became acquainted, 
through some of my brother entomologists, with Prof. Henslow, for all who 
cared for any branch of natural history were equally encouraged by him. Noth- 
ing could be more simple, cordial, and unpretending, than the encouragement 
which ho afforded to all young naturalists. I soon became intimate with him, 
for he had a remarkable power of making the young feel completely at ease 
.with him; though we were all awe-struck with the amount of his knowledge. 
Before I saw him, I heard one young man sum up his attainments by simply say- 
ing that he knew every thing. When I reflect how immediately we felt at perfect 
ease with a man older and in every way so immensely our superior, I think it 
was as much owing to the transparent sincerity of his character, as to his kind- 
ness of heart ; and, perhaps, even still more to a highly-remarkable absence in 
him of all self-consciousness. One perceived at once that he never thought of 
his own varied knowledge or clear intellect, but solely on the subject in hand. 
Another charm, which must have struck every one, was that his manner to old 
and distinguished persons and to the youngest student was exactly the same : 
to all he showed the same winning courtesy. He would receive with interest 
the most trifling observation in any branch of natural history ; and, however 
absurd a blunder one might make, he pointed it out so clearly and kindly, that 
one left him no way disheartened, but only determined to be more accurate 
the next time. In short, no man could be better formed to win the entire con- 
fidence of the young, and to encourage them in their pursuits. 

" His lectures on botany were universally popular, and as clear as daylight. 
So popular were they, that several of the older members of the university 
attended successive courses. Once every week he kept open house in the even- 
ing, and all who had cared for natural history attended these parties, which, 
by thus favoring intercommunication, did the same good in Cambridge, in a 
very pleasant manner, as the scientific societies do in London. At these parties 
many of the most distinguished members of the university occasionally attended ; 
and, when only a few were present, I have listened to the great men of those 
days, conversing on all sorts of subjects, with the most varied and brilliant 
powers. This was no small advantage to some of the younger men, as it stimu- 
lated their mental activity and ambition. Two or three times in each session 
he took excursions with his botanical class ; either a long walk to the habitat 
of some rare plant, or in a barge dow T n the river to the fens, or in coaches to 
some more distant place, as to Gamlingay, to see the wild-lily of the valley, 
and to catch on the heath the rare natter-jack. These excursions have left a 
delightful impression on my mind. He was, on such occasions, in as good spirits 
as a boy, and laughed as heartily as a boy at the misadventures of those who 
chased the splendid swallow-tail butterflies across the broken and treacherous 
fens. He used to pause every now and then, and lecture on some plant or other 
object ; and something he could tell us on every insect, shell, or fossil collected, 
for he had attended to every branch of natural history. After our day's work we 
used to dine at some inn or house, and most jovial we then were. I believe all 
who joined these excursions will agree with me that they have left an enduring 
impression of delight on our minds. 

" x\s time passed on at Cambridge, I became very intimate with Prof. Hens- 
low, and his kindness was unbounded. He continually asked me to his house, 
and allowed me to accompany him in his walks. He talked on all subjects, in- 
cluding his deep sense of religion, and w r as entirely open. I owe more than I 
can express to this excellent man. His kindness was steady. "When Captain 


Fitzroy offered to give up part of his own cabin to any naturalist who would 
join in the expedition in II. M. S. Beagle, Prof. Henslow recommended me as 
one who knew very little, hut who, he thought, would work. I was strongly 
attached to natural history, and this attachment I owed, in large part, to him. 
During the five years' voyage, he regularly corresponded with me, and guided 
my efforts. lie received, opened, and took care of all the specimens sent home 
in many large boxes; but I firmly believe that, during these five years, it never 
once crossed his mind that he was acting toward me with unusual and generous 

" During the years when I associated so much with Prof. Henslow, I never 
once saw his temper even ruffled. He never took an ill-natured view of any 
one's character, though very far from blind to the foibles of others. It always 
struck me that his mind could not be even touched by any paltry feeling of 
vanity, envy, or jealousy. "With all this equability of temper and remarkable 
benevolence, there was no insipidity of character. A man must have been 
blind not to have perceived that beneath this placid exterior there was a vigor- 
ous and determined will. When principle came into play, no power on earth 
could have turned him one hair's-breadth. 

"After the year 1842, when I left London, I saw Prof. Henslow only at long 
intervals ; but, to the last, he continued in all respects the same man. I think 
he cared somewhat less about science, and more for his parishioners. When 
speaking of his allotments, his parish children, and plans of amusing and in- 
structing them, he would always kindle up with interest and enjoyment. I re- 
member one trifling fact which seemed to me highly characteristic of the man : 
In one of the bad years for the potato, I asked him how his crop had fared, but, 
after a little talk, I perceived that, in fact, he knew nothing about his own po- 
totoes, but seemed to know exactly what sort of crop there was in the garden 
of almost every poor man in his parish. 

"In intellect, as far as I could judge, accurate powers of observation, sound 
sense, and cautious judgment, seemed predominant. Nothing seemed to give 
him so much enjoyment as drawing conclusions from minute observations. But 
his admirable memoir on the geology of Anglesea shows his capacity for ex- 
tended observations and broad views. Eeflecting over his character with grati- 
tude and reverence, his moral attributes rise, as they should do in the highest 
character, in preeminence over his intellect. 0. Darwin." 

The moral heroism, here testified to by Mr. Darwin, was an emi- 
nent trait of Prof. Henslow's character, and a key to his career; but 
there was one instance of it, in Cambridge, which may be mentioned 
in passing. In politics, Prof. Henslow was originally a Conservative 
or Tory. Lord Palmerston had long represented the university on 
the same side. But when the Duke of Wellington, who was at the 
head of the government, declared against reform in any shape what- 
ever, there came a revolution which overthrew his administration, and 
Lord Palmerston went over to the Liberal side and joined the re- 
formed ministry. Prof. Henslow, like many others, fell in with the 
movement, and, of course, made himself obnoxious to the chai'ge of 
being a " turn-coat." He did not flinch from these attacks, and was at 
any moment ready to do his duty regardless of popular reprobation, and 
he soon had an opportunity of incurring it. In the borough election 


of 1835, the " Tory agents " had notoriously resorted to bribery. The 
Liberals wanted to bring the offenders into court, but no one would 
incur the odium of " informing " against them. Under these circum- 
stances Prof. Henslow readily offered himself as the nominal prosecu- 
tor. The storm of abuse and persecution that broke upon him for 
this is still well remembered in Cambridge. His biographer remarks : 
" Not only was the cry raised of ' Henslow, common informer ! ' when- 
ever he appeared in the streets, but the same obnoxious words were 
placarded upon the walls in such large and enduring characters, that, 
even to this day (1861), more than a quarter of a century after the 
transaction, they are still distinctly legible in some places. They 
were seen, and smilingly pointed out to a friend, by the professor him- 
self, within a year of his death, and I have, since his death, seen and 
read them myself. His services were, however, deeply appreciated at 
the time, for he received three handsome testimonials : one from the 
town of Cambridge; another from the town committee for the sup- 
pression of corruption ; and the third from a committee of noblemen 
and gentlemen." The rule that Prof. Henslow laid down for the 
guidance of conduct in such circumstances, and which he rigorously 
conformed to himself, was expressed in the following noble words : " I 
would have every Tory consistent, and every Radical consistent, and 
every Whig consistent, until either of them shall have become convinced 
that he has been in error, and then I would have him change his poli- 
tics, regardless of every risk, and despising the shame which the world 
will heap upon him. But what I would have every man strive to 
possess is c moral courage,' sufficient to declare his own opinions un- 
hesitatingly in the face of the world, and adequate to maintain them 
unflinchingly against all influence whatever." 

The position of Prof. Henslow at Cambridge was every thing that 
would satisfy the usual ambition of a man of science. He was pro- 
foundly appreciated in the institution, he was beloved by the students, 
and he had given a new life to the class of studies to which he was 
devoted. Yet all this did not satisfy him, and he seized the first op- 
portunity to leave Cambridge, and enter a field of labor of a very 
different kind, and for which, as the result proved, he was remarkably 
endowed. As his talents and high character became known, the Gov- 
ernment sought his influence for some of the responsible trusts in its 
gift, and it was in contemplation to offer him the See of Norwich. It 
is a terrible temptation in England to get the place of bishop, and 
while many sigh, labor, and intrigue for it, those who decline it when 
offered are exceedingly few. Prof. Henslow, when he heard of the 
danger, fled to his chamber, and prayed fervently to be delivered from 
the temptation. His prayers were answered, and, instead of the bish- 
opric, he received the crown living of the parish of Hitcham, with an 
income of a thousand pounds a year. The place is in Suffolk, not far 
from Cambridge, and he entered upon the charge of it in 1837. His 


first intention was to continue his relation with the university, and 
divide his work between Cambridge and Hitcham; but, finding that 
the duties of the latter place did not permit his absence, he took up 
his residence there in 1839. How different was the sphere of exertion 
upon which he had now entered will be apparent when we glance at 
the condition of the inhabitants of the parish when he first went among 

The village of Hitcham consisted of one long, straggling street, and 
the parish contained rather more than a thousand persons, scattered 
over some 4,000 acres of land. The property of the parish was assessed 
at $30,000 a year, yet there was only a dame-school in the place. The 
unemployed and vagabond laborers were so numerous that the poor- 
rate in 1834 amounted to $5,000 equal, it was said, to over $6 for 
each man, woman, and child, in the village. The people were sunk to 
almost the lowest depths of moral and physical debasement. Igno- 
rance, crime, and vice were rife, and the worst characters were addicted 
to poaching, sheep-stealing, drunkenness, and all kinds of immorality. 
The less vicious were more fond of idleness than work, and lolled about 
the road-sides, dead to all sense of moral shame, so long as they could 
live at the parish expense. Parish relief or charity was .not unfre- 
quently levied by bands of forty or fifty able-bodied laborers who had 
been in the habit of intimidating the previous rector into instant com- 
pliance with their demands. The houses of the poor were described as 
having been many of them little better than hovels, in which the com- 
mon decencies of life could hardly be carried out. The church was 
almost empty on Sunday, and but little respect was paid to its ordi- 
nances. The previous rector had been satisfied with discharging his 
usual Sunday duties, and left the people to themselves during the week. 

Such was the field which Prof. Henslow left Cambridge to culti- 
vate. He went there as a missionary, to reclaim it from inveterate 
heathenism, which still passed under a Christian name. His difficulties 
were of the most formidable kind, and he had to grapple with them 
single-handed, for there were no influential persons in the parish either 
to cooperate in his work, or to encourage him in pursuing it. The 
parties with whom he had to deal were the farmers who rented the 
land from the landlords, and the laborers whom the farmers employed. 
The farmers are represented as having been intellectually raised but 
little above their laborers, as ignorant, obstinate, and prejudiced, and 
they doggedly opposed the new rector in all his schemes, and threw 
every possible obstacle in his way. But he was not a man to flinch 
from what he had undertaken, and, coolly estimating the difficulties 
of the situation, he set himself to work to reclaim his flock from their 
degradation, to industry, sobriety, independence, and self-respect. It 
was obvious enough that the inculcation of moral and religious lessons 
would have been utterly lost upon them would have been like throw- 
ing pearls before swine because men must be civilized before they 


can be effectually Christianized. Prof. Henslow therefore commenced 
by gaining the confidence of those whom he wished to influence, and 
to do this he had to adapt himself to them, and utilize whatever forces 
lie could find available. lie began by amusing them. He got up a 
cricket club, and encouraged various manly games. He introduced 
ploughing-matches, and competitive exhibitions. His acquaintance 
with chemistry enabled him to construct fireworks, which he would let 
off upon the rectory lawn, and which were a great attraction to the 
people. He brought out various natural and artificial curiosities, 
which were at first vacantly stared at, but, with his extraordinary fac- 
ulty of adapting his language and illustrations to the commonest ca- 
pacity, he gradually kindled an interest in the minds of many which 
grew into a desire to learn. Other recreations and incitements fol- 
lowed, which will be presently referred to. Prof. Henslow resorted to 
many measures of amelioration and improvement, and carried them all 
along together ; but, in our brief sketch of his labors, we must con- 
sider them separately ; and we will take up first what he did for the 
laborers, next for the farmers, and lastly, what he accomplished for the 
education of the children : 

One of the first evils which he attacked was the degradation and 
dependence of the laborers. The Hitcham farmers held their men in 
brutal subjection, viewing them as little better than slaves, for whose 
concern they felt no interest. They were, therefore, the enemies of 
every measure for the improvement of the laboring-class. Prof. Hens- 
low considered the lack of an independent home as one of the great bar- 
riers to the elevation of the working-men, and he therefore urged the 
adoption of the " allotment system," by which the laborers might be- 
come the owners or tenants of small pieces of ground, to be cultivated 
by themselves for their own benefit. This encountered the fiercest 
opposition from the farmers, and led to a long and determined struggle. 
All sorts of objections were raised. It was said the laborers would 
steal the farmers' seed to sow their own ground ; they would give their 
masters slack work in order to reserve their strength for their own 
patches at the end of the day. But the worst difficulty was the pro- 
found class or caste spirit which pervades English society, and which 
impelled the farmers to fight the change, because it would raise the 
laborer, and bring him one step nearer to themselves. It was in 1845 
that Prof. Henslow made his first public appeal upon this subject, in 
which he pointed out the many advantages that would result from 
the allotment system to the laboring-class. He urged the reform 
energetically, and initiated it by granting portions of his own land 
for the purpose. He pushed the project until he had got fifty more 
of one-quarter of an acre each. The farmers here made a stand, and 
determined to crush the whole system. They went into cooperation, 
and gave mutual pledges that they would "refuse all employment 
and show no favor to any day-laborer who should hold an allotment." 


The storm raged about the rector, who persevered without losino- 
either his patience or his temper. He denounced the selfish action 
of the farmers, and gave them to understand that he would submit 
to no dictation, and was determined to carry out his intentions. For- 
tunately, his salary and position did not depend upon them, as they 
would quickly have dismissed him ; but, finding that the rector's pur- 
pose was not to be shaken, their opposition at length abated. The 
measure was extended, and the most salutary consequences followed 
in the general conduct of the people. Many instances were known in 
which " an allotment has been the means of reclaiming the criminal, 
reforming the dissolute, and of changing the whole moral character 
and conduct." At the time of Prof. Henslow's death the allotments 
in his parish amounted to nearly 150 in number, and their advantages 
were no longer denied. 

Nor did Prof. Henslow encounter much less difficulty in his efforts 
to improve the condition of the farmers themselves. A good chemist, 
botanist, and geologist, and a close student of scientific agriculture, he 
was prepared to help the agriculturists with applied and available 
knowledge, yet they strenuously resisted his efforts to teach them. 
But he was not to be baffled in his exertions. He took up the practical 
subject of the economy of fertilizers, in a series of popular letters to a 
country newspaper, and treated it with such familiarity and skill as 
to arrest the attention of the farmers. He spoke to them in the farm- 
ers' club upon the same subject, and the address, together with the 
letters, was printed and widely distributed. Having at length 
aroused their attention, he pressed them into the work of testing the 
proposed views, by observations and experiments of their own. The 
relative value of different kinds of organic and inorganic manures, their 
adaptation to special crops, how they should be applied, and the ex- 
tent to which manure-heaps should be allowed to ferment and decom- 
pose, were open questions, and he showed the farmers that they were 
the parties to settle them. Liebig had suggested the addition of gyp- 
sum to the manure-heap, to fix the ammonia, and Henslow suggested 
that the farmers of Suffolk should try the experiment ; and, to get as 
many enlisted as possible, he circulated printed forms to be filled up 
by the experimenters with the results to which they might arrive. 
But few at first responded to the call, and all kinds of objections were 
urged; but at length 69 farmers sent in applications for the printed 
forms, and consented to undertake the experiments. The result of 
these efforts was the stirring up of the farmers to a more methodical 
and scientific way of conducting their agricultural operations. Prof. 
Henslow did not expect to make them philosophers, but to make them 
think, and to do something toward converting the art of husbandry 
into the science of agriculture ; and he received many communications 
which showed that his letters and lectures had exerted a wide and 
wholesome influence. 


It was in connection with these efforts to aid the farmers that Prof. 
Henslow made the memorable discovery of the agricultural value of 
the so-called coprolites, or phosphatic nodules, found in the red crag at 
Felixstowe, in Suffolk. They were shown to contain 56 per cent, of 
phosphate of lime, and therefore to be capable of replacing bones in 
fertilization. He called attention to the similar concretions abundantly 
distributed in the upper greensand of Cambridgeshire, which were 
even richer in phosphate, and which have since yielded immense profits 
both to the proprietors of the pits and the farmers who used the 

Prof. Henslow had paid much attention to entomology ; and his 
knowledge of plants, and the parasitic insects which infest them and 
destroy the crops, enabled him to instruct the farmers upon this sub- 
ject. He closely investigated the diseases of wheat, potatoes, and 
clover, and diffused the results of his inquiries in lectures, tracts, and 
newspaper correspondence. 

As he lived in an agricultural community, in which all were inter- 
ested in farm products and processes, Prof. Henslow resorted to ether 
means of quickening the general interest in these matters, and of en- 
listing the sympathy of laborers as well as farmers. For this purpose 
he instituted horticultural shows, at which there was a distribution of 
prizes for such products as wheat, fruit, flowers, vegetables, and honey, 
and sometimes for works of mechanical ingenuity calculated to en- 
courage the laborers to spend their long winter evenings profitably. 
There were two of these shows in each season, in July and September. 
They began in 1850, and were kept up until the time of his death. 
Tents were pitched for receiving the productions of the cottagers' 
gardens, and the allotment-tenants received premiums for the best 
management of their pieces of ground. Besides the tents for the 
more special purposes of the show, there was always one assigned to 
a miscellaneous collection of specimens in natural history animals, 
birds, reptiles, insects' nests, etc., with various specimens from the do- 
mestic arts and antiquities. This the professor called his " Marquee 
Museum." On one occasion the dimensions of the trunk of the great 
mammoth tree ( Wellingtonia) were traced out on the lawn with a dia- 
gram, showing its size in comparison with other trees. There was 
much to gratify the eye ; but sight-seeing is always wearisome, and 
Prof. Henslow alleviated the routine of the day, and gave an intellect- 
ual turn to the proceedings, by summoning as many of the company 
as chose to come to the museum, and delivering to them little lectures, 
or " lecturets," as he termed them. He would talk to the women 
about textile fabrics or domestic operations, and to the different 
groups on processes of manufacture, or local specimens of natural his- 
tory, or the diseases of vegetation. Nor were amusements neglected ; 
swings and poles were set up for gymnastic exercises, and foot-ball 
and other games were encouraged on the grounds. The scene was 


one of entertainment and instruction, and promotive of good feeling 
on the part of all who participated in it. The influence of these exhi- 
bitions was so beneficial, and became so well known, that large num- 
bers flocked to them from a distance, and similar shows were got up in 
other places. 

One of the schemes devised by Prof. Henslow for alleviating the 
hard, monotonous life of the laboring population, and combining recrea- 
tion with improvement, was the arrangement of excursions to neigh- 
boring places of interest. Knowing that those who always stay at 
home are apt to become narrow and prejudiced, he sought to afford 
them the opportunity of observing the ways and habits of other 
places, and to open to them not merely agreeable sights, but sources 
of knowledge from which they had been previously shut out. From 
one to two hundred persons usually accompanied him, and his prepara- 
tions for these excursions were always very methodical ; for he aimed 
to combine moral discipline with healthful amusement. A " recreation 
fund" was raised, and the poor always contributed something toward 
the expenses. Tickets were issued, limiting the number of those at- 
tending, and printed circulars were sometimes prepared with plans of 
the route, regulations for the party, and often copious notes concerning 
the place and objects to be visited. An eleven-page pocket-guide was 
got uj) on one occasion for the use of the visitors at Cambridge, giving 
an account of the colleges, museums, and libraries of the university. 
Sometimes they went to the neighboring towns, to manufacturing' 
places, or to the sea-shore. But the professor was always ready with 
his interesting " lecturets " to explain every thing to his flock of eager 
listeners. The impression left by these holiday excursions upon the 
minds and hearts of the simple laborers was most gratifying, and, as 
one of them remarked to Prof. Henslow, " Our heads would not be so 
full of drink if we had such things to occupy our minds." 

The task which Prof. Henslow had undertaken was one of imme- 
diate and practical social amelioration, and this compelled him to 
grapple with the adult ignorance and the indurated prejudices of the 
community. But he did not forget the children. "When he went to 
Hitcham, there was but a single, very poor school in the parish, but 
he lost no time in establishing a better one. Meeting with but little 
support from his parishioners, he had to bear the greater part of the 
expense himself in the erection of a school-house and the payment of 
a teacher. He had to deal with the children of an ignorant and stolid 
peasantry, yet he brought his scientific resources to bear upon them 
with such success that his humble parish-school acquired a national 
reputation, was visited by people from all parts of the country, and 
was inquired into by Parliament when settling the policy of its public 

Prof. Henslow struck boldly out from the traditional method, and 
did a thing unheard of in England, which was, to introduce his favorite 


science of botany into a school for the children of the lowest classes. 
Prof. Ilenslow's object was to break in upon the slavish and stupefying 
routine of the schoolroom, and to substitute, for the endless drudgery 
of mere lesson-learning from books, the exercise of the childish facul- 
ties upon Nature itself. His object was to awaken the mind to spon- 
taneous action, to open the observant faculties, and expand the reason- 
ing powers, rather than to impart second-hand knowledge, and to load 
the memory with the contents of books. And this he succeeded in 
doing. He introduced a study which excited their interest, and " fur- 
nished them with innocent and rational amusement in those leisure 
hours which so many servants and poor idly throw away when their 
required work is done;" which "tends to raise their thoughts to the 
contemplation of the Creator, and to make them mindful as well as 
observant of that infinite wisdom and goodness of which they see 
everywhere around them such abundant proofs," and which, moreover, 
taught them the use of their minds in inquiring, comparing, judging, 
and thinking for themselves. 

It is to be observed that Prof. Henslow did not, by any means, un- 
dertake to establish a botanical school ; in fact, but a very small por- 
tion of the time was given to the subject. His habit was to attend 
the school regularly every Monday afternoon, for the purpose of giving 
a lesson in botany from an hour and a half to two hours in length, the 
main work of the pupils being by themselves and out of school. The 
pupils varied in age from eight to eighteen, and the class was limited 
to 42 in number. Into the details of his teaching we have no 
space here to enter. The whole essence and value of it consisted in 
the regular and constant study of plants themselves. The pupils 
ranged the woods and fields of Hitcham for specimens, and their work 
consisted in dissecting, analyzing, and classifying them. The class 
was graded ; the older jjupils became teachers, and the younger were 
promoted as they became proficient in their work. The children made 
herbariums of dried plants, and one pupil-teacher " actually collected 
in rural strolls, and afterward dried and correctly named, more than 
250 specimens of plants." The children brought their botanical ac- 
quirements to bear to enrich the horticultural show, to which reference 
has been made. They brought their dried collections and fresh, wild- 
flower nosegays, and competed for the prizes offered for the largest 
collections, the most tasteful arrangements, and the most accurate de- 
scriptions. In 1858, at the July show, 50 children competed for the 
" wild-flower nosegay," and 26 received prizes. 

It is almost superfluous to say that this invaluable experiment in 
education was not an example of " compulsory education." Compul- 
sion implies resistance ; a resort to brute force, when higher forces fail, 
or are not tried. But the coercive system forces the question upon us, 
Is anybody fit to teach who cannot wield the higher agencies of con- 
trol ? Should not the very first qualification of a teacher of the young 


be a love of children? This, at all events, was a prime qualification 
of Prof. Henslow. His biographer says : " He had a playful way with 
children, which won their affections, as well as their attention to what 
he was teaching them, and which was one secret of their success. He 
would always speak kindly to them, and encourage them in their dif- 
ferent little ways. All who competed for the wild-flower nosegay 
prizes, though they did not succeed in getting a prize, were allowed a 
pinch of ' white snuff,' as he jokingly called it, or sugar-plums. He 
generally had a snuffbox full of these sugar-plums in his pocket when 
he went into the village, offering a pinch to any of the little children 
whom he happened to meet." Of course, his botanical pupils were 
all volunteers. They entered with spirit into their work, took it home 
with them, pursued it in their rambles, recurred to it in hours of play, 
compared notes among themselves, and needed no " compulsion. 5 ' 
How eager was their delight, was shown by their grief whenever the 
lessons were interrupted. In a public address, Prof. Henslow said : 
"No one who had heard the lamentations uttered upon my announ- 
cing, at our last lesson before Easter, the necessity of six weeks' ab- 
sence at Cambridge duties, could possibly have doubted the great in- 
terest the children took in these exercises." 

As to the educational value of this teaching, although it occupied 
but a small fraction of regular school-time, it was of the highest im- 
portance. It was not merely that the children got a knowledge of 
botany, but that they mastered its rudiments in such a way as to gain 
the most important intellectual benefits. There is plenty of unmis- 
takable evidence upon this point ; we have space only for an extract 
from the cautious statement of one of her Majesty's inspectors of 
schools, who says: "That the botanical lessons, as handled by the 
professor in his own national school, did draw largely upon the in- 
telligent powers of his little pupils' minds, there can be no question. 
The simple system to which he had reduced his plan of making the 
children break up the various specimens into their component parts, 
arrange those parts, observe their characters and relations to each 
other, and thence arrive at conclusions for themselves, was very far 
from being the mechanical process which many, before witnessing it, 
might have supposed ' botany in the national schools ' to represent. 
And I think it is not at all unfair to say that these children, who, out 
of school, were (as I had many opportunities of judging) much more 
conversable than the generality of children in rural parishes, owed a 
considerable share of the general development of their minds to the 
botanical lessons and the self-exercise connected with them." 

Prof. Henslow's method of teaching botany to the young was one 
of his great successes, and is a permanent contribution to education. 
He commenced a little book embodying the plan, but did not live to 
finish it ; and he got along with printed lists, forms, and schedules, 
all being directed by his lectures and by his constant supervision of 


the plant-studies of his pupils. The fame of his success went abroad, 
and he was- solicited to lecture in many places, and to assist in organ- 
izing the botanical work in various schools and colleges. Like Fara- 
day, he was invited by Prince Albert to lecture to the royal children, 
whom he interested in the same way that he had done the pupils of 
his Hitcham classes. 

Other points of great interest in Prof. Henslow's career and char- 
acter we should be glad to dwell upon, but our sketch is already over- 
done. Sufficient, however, has been said to show how science may 
increase the usefulness of a clergyman, and prepare the way for his 
higher work and that higher work was not neglected by Prof. Hens- 
low. He not only labored hard and perseveringly for the temporal 
good of his parishioners, but he discharged toward them with fidelity 
the duties of a Christian minister. In the twenty-four years of his 
residence at Hitcham there was a period of twelve years when he was 
not absent from the parish on a single Sunday. The secret of so much 
varied work was a strong constitution, unremitting industry, and strict 
method in the disposal of his time. But the strongest constitutions 
have their limits, and a false security tends to their being often 
overpassed. Prof. Henslow was under a constant strain, and the ill- 
ness that terminated his life was probably brought on by his " inces- 
sant mental and manual labor." He passed away May 14, 1861, and 
his loss was deeply felt in the world of science, in his university, and 
in the parish to which he had devoted so much of his unselfish life. 



XI. The Political Pias. 

EVERY day brings events which, showing the politician what the 
events of the next day are likely to be, serve also as materials 
for the student of Social Science. Passing occurrences may have their 
special meanings sought, as by the many, or may have their general 
meanings sought, as by the few. Scarcely a journal can be read, that 
does not supply a fact which, beyond the proximate implication seized 
by the party-tactician, has an ultimate implication of value to the 
sociologist. Thus d propos of political bias, I am, while writing, fur- 
nished by an Irish paper with an extreme instance. Speaking of the 
late Ministerial defeat, the JNation says: 

"Mr. Gladstone and his administration are hurled from power, and the ini- 
quitous attempt to sow broadcast the seed of irreligion and infidelity in Ireland 
has recoiled with the impact of a thunder-bolt upon its authors. The men who 


so long beguiled the ear of Ireland with specious promises, who mocked us with 
sham reforms and insulted us with barren concessions, who traded on the griev- 
ances of this country only to aggravate them, and who, with smooth profes- 
sions on their lips, trampled out the last traces of liberty in the land, are to-day 
a beaten and outcast party." 

Which exhibition of feeling we may either consider specially, as show- 
ing how the " Nationalists " are likely to behave in the immediate 
future ; or may consider more generally, as giving us a trait of Irish 
nature tending to justify Mr. Froude's harsh verdict on Irish conduct 
in the past ; or may consider most generally, after the manner here 
appropriate, as a striking example of the distortions which the politi- 
cal bias works in men's judgments. 

When we remember that all are thus affected more or less, in esti- 
mating political antagonists, their acts and their views, we are re- 
minded what an immense obstacle political partisanship is in the way 
of Social Science. I do not mean simply that, as all know, it often 
determines opinions about pending questions ; as shown by cases in 
which a measure, reprobated by Conservatives when brought forward 
by Liberals, is approved when brought forward by their own party. 
I refer to the far wider effect it has on men's interpretations of the 
past and of the future ; and therefore on their sociological conceptions 
in general. The political sympathies and antipathies fostered by the 
conflicts of parties, respectively upholding this or that kind of institu- 
tion, become sympathies and antipathies drawn out toward the allied 
institutions of other nations, extinct or surviving. These sympathies 
and antipathies inevitably cause tendencies to accept or reject favor- 
able or unfavorable evidence respecting such institutions. The well- 
known contrast between the pictures which the Tory Mitford and the 
Radical Grote have given of the Athenian democracy, serves as an 
instance to which many parallels may be found. In proof of the per- 
verting effects of the political bias, I cannot do better than quote some 
sentences from Mr. Froude's lecture on " The Scientific Method applied 
to History : " 

"Thucydides wrote to expose the vices of democracy ; Tacitus, the historian 
of the Cassars, to exhibit the hatefulness of imperialism." x 

" Read Macaulay on the condition of the English poor before the last cen- 
tury or two, and you wonder how they lived at all. Eead Cobbett, and I may 
even say Hallam, and you wonder how they endure the contrast between their 
past prosperity and their present misery." s 

" An Irish Catholic prelate once told me that to his certain knowledge two 
millions of men, women, and children had died in the great famine of 1846. I 
asked him if he was not including those who had emigrated. lie repeated that 
over and above the emigration two millions had actually died ; and added, ' we 
might assert that every one of these deaths lay at the door of tbe English Gov- 
ernment.' I mentioned this to a distinguished lawyer in Dublin, a Protestant. 

1 Froude, "Short Studies on Great Subjects," Second Series, 1871, p. 4S0. 

2 Ibid., p. 483. 


His gray eyes lighted up. lie replied: 'Did lie say two millions now did he? 
Why, there were not a thousand died there were not five hundred.' The true 
number, so far as can he gathered from a comparison of the census of 1841 with 
the census of 1851, from the emigration returns, which were carefully made, 
and from an allowance for the natural rate of increase, was about two hundred 
thousand." 3 

Further insistance on this point is needless. That the verdicts which 
will be given by different party journals upon each ministerial act may 
be predicted, and that the opposite opinions uttered by speakers and 
applauded by meetings concerning the same measure may be foreseen 
if the political bias is known, are facts from which any one may infer 
that the party politician must have his feelings greatly moderated be- 
fore he can interpret, with even approximate truth, the events of the 
past, and draw correct inferences respecting the future. 

Here, instead of dilating upon this truth, I propose to draw atten- 
tion to kindred truths that are less conspicuous. Beyond those kinds 
of political bias indicated by the names of political parties, there are 
certain kinds of political bias transcending party limits. Already in 
the chapter on " Subjective Difficulties Emotional," I have com- 
mented upon the feeling which originates them the feeling drawn out 
toward the governing agency. In addition to what was there said 
about the general effects of this feeling on sociological speculation, 
something must be said about its special effects. And first, let us con- 
template a common fallacy in men's opinions about human affairs, 
which pervades the several fallacies fostered by the political bias. 

Results are proportionate to appliances see here the tacit assump- 
tion underlying many errors in the conduct of life, private and public. 
In private life every one discovers the untruth of this assumption, and 
yet continues to act as though he had not discovered its untruth. Re- 
consider a moment, under this fresh aspect, a familiar experience lately 
dwelt upon. 

" How happy I shall be," thinks the child, " when I am as old as 
my big brother, and own all the many things he will not let me have ! " 
" How happy," the big brother thinks, " shall I be when, like my 
father, I have got a house of my own and can do as I like ! " " How 
happy I shall be," thinks the father, " when, achieving the success in 
prospect, I have got a large income, a country-house, carriages, horses, 
and a higher social position ! " And yet at each stage the possession 
of the much-desired aids to satisfaction does not bring all the happi- 
ness expected, and brings many annoyances. 

A good example of the fallacy, that results are proportionate to ap- 
pliances, is furnished by domestic service. It is an inference naturally 
drawn that, if one servant does so much, two servants will do twice as 
much ; and so on. But when this common-sense theory is tested by 

1 Froude, "Short Studies on Great Subjects," Second Series, mi, pp. 483, 484 


practice, the results are quite at variance with it. Not simply does 
the amount of service performed fail to increase in proportion to the 
number of servants, but frequently it decreases : fewer servants do 
more work and do it better. 

Take, again, the relation of books to knowledge. The natural 
assumption is, that one who has stores of information at hand will be- 
come well informed. And yet, very generally, when a man begins to 
accumulate books he ceases to make much use of them. The fillino; 
of his shelves with volumes, and the filling of his brain with facts, are 
processes apt to go on with inverse rapidities. It is a trite remark 
that those who have become distinguished for their learning have 
often been those who had great difficulties in getting books. Here, 
too, the results are quite out of proportion to the appliances. 

Similarly, if we go a step further in the same direction not think- 
ing of books as aids to information, but thinking of information as an 
aid to guidance. Do we find that the quantity of acquirement meas- 
ures the quantity of insight ? Is the amount of cardinal truth reached 
to be inferred from the mass of collected facts that serve as appliances 
for reaching it ? By no means. Wisdom and information do not vary 
together. Though there must be data before there can be generaliza- 
tion, yet ungeneralized data, accumulated in excess, are impediments 
to generalization. When a man's knowledge is not in order, the more 
of it he has the greater will be his confusion of thought. When facts 
are not organized into faculty, the greater the mass of them the more 
will the mind stagger along under its burden, hampered instead of 
helped by its acquisitions. A student may become a very Daniel Lam- 
bert of learning, and remain utterly useless to himself and all others. 
Neither in this case, then, are results proportionate to appliances. 

It is so, too, with discipline, and with the agencies established for 
discipline. Take, as an instance, the use of language. From his early 
days, the boy whose father can afford to give him the fashionable edu- 
cation, is drilled in grammar, practised in parsing, tested in detecting 
errors of speech. After his public-school career, during which words, 
their meanings, and their right applications, almost exclusively occupy 
him, he passes through a university where a large, and often the larger, 
part of his attention is still given to literary culture models of style 
in prose and poetry being daily before him. So much for the prepa- 
ration ; now for the performance. It is notorious that commentators 
on the classics are among the most slovenly writers of English. Read- 
ers of Punch will remember how, years ago, the Provost ,and Head- 
master of Eton were made to furnish food for laughter by quotations 
from a letter they had published. Recently the Head-master of Win- 
chester has given us, in entire unconsciousness of its gross defects, a 
sample of the English which long study of language produces. If from 
these teachers, who are literally the select of the select, we turn to men 
otherwise selected, mostly out of the same highly-disciplined class 


men who are distilled into the House of Commons, and then redistilled 
into the Ministry, we are again disappointed. Just as, in the last gen- 
eration, royal speeches, drawn up hy those so laboriously trained in 
the right uses of words, furnished for an English grammar examples 
of blunders to be avoided ; so, in the present generation, a work on 
style might fitly take, from these documents which our government 
annually lays before all the world, warning instances of confusions, 
and illogicalities, and pleonasms. And then on looking at the per- 
formances of men not thus elaborately prepared, we are still more 
struck by the seeming anomaly. How great the anomaly is, we may 
best see by supposing some of our undisciplined authors to use expres- 
sions like those used by the disciplined. Imagine the self-made Cob- 
bett deliberately saying, as is said in the last royal speech, that 

" I have kept in view the double object of an equitable regard to existing cir- 
cumstances, and of securing a general provision more permanent in its charac- 
ter, and resting on a reciprocal and equal basis, for the commercial and mari- 
time transactions of the two countries." ' 

Imagine the poet, who had " little Latin and less Greek," directing 

"No such address shall be delivered in any place where the assemblage of 
persons to hear the same may cause obstruction to the use of any road or walk 
by the public." 3 

a passage which occurs, along with half a dozen laxities and super- 
fluities, in the eighteen lines announcing the ministerial retreat from 
the Hyde Park contest. Imagine the ploughman Burns, like one of 
our scholars who has been chosen to direct the education of gentle- 
men's sons, expressing himself in print thus : 

" I should not have troubled you with this detail (which was, indeed, need- 
less in my former letter) if it was not that I may appear to have laid a stress 
upon the dates which the boy's accident had prevented me from being able to 
claim to do." 3 

Imagine Bunyan the tinker publishing such a sentence as this, written 
by one of our bishops : 

"If the 546 gentlemen who signed the protest on the subject of deaconesses 
had thought proper to object to my having formally licensed a deaconess in the 
parish of Dilton's Marsh, or to what they speak of when they say that ' recog- 
nition had been made' (I presume on a report of which no part or portion was 
adopted by resolution of the Synod) ' as to sisters living together in a more 
conventual manner and under stricter rule,' I should not have thought it neces- 
sary to do more than receive with silent respect the expression of their opin- 
ion," etc., etc. 4 

Or, to cite for comparison modern self-educated writers, imagine such 
a sentence coming from Alexander Smith, or Gerald Massey, or the 

1 Daily papers, February 7, 1873. 3 Times, November 25, 1872. 

2 Times and Post, February 11, 1873. 4 Times, November 27, 1872. 


" Norwich Weaver-boy " (W. J. Fox), or the " Journeyman Engineer." 
Shall we then say that, in the case of literary culture, results are pro- 
portionate to appliances ? or shall we not rather say that, as in other 
cases, the relation is by no means so simple a one. 

Nowhere, then, do Ave find verified this assumption which we are so 
prone to make. Quantity of effect does not vary as quantity of means. 
From a mechanical apparatus up to an educational system or a social 
institution, the same truth holds. Take a rustic to see a new machine, 
and his admiration of it will be in proportion to the multiplicity of its 
parts. Listen to the criticism of a skilled engineer, and you will find 
that from all this complication he infers probable failure. Not elabo- 
ration but simplification is his aim ; knowing, as he does, that every 
additional wheel and lever implies inertia and friction to be overcome, 
and occasional derangement to be rectified. It is thus everywhere. 
Up to a certain point, appliances are needful for results ; but, beyond 
that point, results decrease as appliances increase. 

This undue belief in appliances, joined with the general bias citi- 
zens inevitably have in favor of governmental agencies, prompts the 
multiplication of laws. It fosters the notion that a society will be the 
better the more its actions are everywhere regulated by artificial in- 
strumentalities. And the effect produced on sociological speculation 
is, that the benefits achieved by laws are exaggerated, while the evils 
they entail are overlooked. 

Brought to bear on so immensely complicated an aggregate as a 
society, a law rarely, if ever, produces as much direct effect as was ex- 
pected, and invariably produces indirect effects, many in their kinds 
and great in their sum, that were not expected. It is so even with 
fundamental changes : witness the two we have seen in the constitu- 
tion of our House of Commons. Both advocates and opponents of the 
first Reform Bill anticipated that the middle classes would select as 
representatives many of their own body. But both were wrong. The 
class-quality of the House of Commons remained very much what it 
was before. While, however, the immediate and special results looked 
for did not appear, there were vast, remote, and general results fore- 
seen by no one. So, too, with the recent change. We had eloquently- 
uttered warnings that delegates from the working-classes would swamp 
the House of Commons ; and nearly every one expected that, at any 
rate, a sprinkling of working-class members would be chosen. Again 
all were wrong. The conspicuous alteration looked for has not oc- 
curred; but, nevertheless, governmental actions have already been 
much modified by the raised sense of responsibility. It is thus always. 
No prophecy is safer than that the results anticipated from a law will 
be greatly exceeded in amount by results not anticipated. Even sim- 
ple physical actions might suggest to us this conclusion. Let us con- 
template one. 

vol. in. 12 



You see that this wrought-iron plate is not quite flat : it sticks up 
a little here toward the left " cockles," as we say. How shall we 
flatten it? Obviously, you reply, by hitting down on the part that is 
prominent. "Well, here is a hammer, and I give it a blow as you ad- 
vise. Harder, you say. Still no effect. Another stroke ? Well, there 
is one, and another, and another. The prominence remains, you see 
the evil is as great as ever. But this is not all. Look at the warp 
which the plate has got near the opposite edge : where it was flat be- 
fore it is now curved. A pretty bungle we have made of it. Instead 
of curing the original defect, we have produced a second. Had we 
asked an artisan practised in " planishing," as it is called, he would 
have told us no good was to be done, but only mischief, by hitting 
down on the projecting part. He would have taught us how to give 
variously-directed and specially-adjusted blows with a hammer else- 
where : so attacking the evil not by direct but by indirect . actions. 
The required process is less simple than you thought. Even a sheet 
of metal is not to be successfully dealt with after those common-sense 
methods in which you have so much confidence. What, then, shall 
we say about a society ? " Do you think I am easier to be played on 
than a pipe ? " asks Hamlet. Is humanity more readily straightened 
than an iron plate ? 

Many, I doubt not, failing to recognize the truth that, in proportion 
as an aggregate is complex, the effects wrought by an incident force 
become more multitudinous, complicated, and incalculable, and that, 
therefore, a society is, of all kinds of aggregates, the kind most difficult 
to affect in an intended way and not in unintended ways many such 
will ask evidence of the difficulty. Hesponse would perhaps be easier 
were the evidence less abundant. It is so familiar as seemingly to 
have lost its significance ; just as perpetually-repeated salutations 
and prayers have done. The preamble to nearly every act of Par- 
liament supplies it ; in the report of every commission it is pre- 
sented in various forms ; and, for any one asking instances, the di- 
rection might be Hansard passim. Here I will give but a single 
example which might teach certain rash enthusiasts of our day, were 
they teachable. I refer to measures for the suppression of drunken- 

Not to dwell on the results of the JVIaine Law, which, as I know 
from one who lately gave me his personal experience, prevents the ob- 
tainmcnt of stimulants by travellers in urgent need of them, but does 
not prevent secret drinking by residents not to dwell, either, upon 
the rigorous measures taken in Scotland in 1617, "for the restraint of 
the vile and detestable vice of drunkenness daily increasing," but 
which evidently did not produce the hoped-for effect I will limit my- 
self to the case of the Licensing Act, 9 George II., chapter 23, for the 
arresting the sale of spirituous liquors (chiefly gin) by prohibitory li- 
censes : 


" Within a few months after it passed, Tindal tells us, the commissioners of 
excise themselves became sensible of the impossibility or unadvisableness of 
carrying it rigorously into execution. . . . Smollett, who has drawn so dark a 
picture of the state of things the act was designed to put down, has painted in 
colors equally strong the mischiefs which it produced: 'The populace,' he 
writes, ' soon broke through all restraint. Though no license was obtained, and 
no duty paid, the liquor continued to be sold in all corners of the streets ; in- 
formers were intimidated by the threats of the people ; and the justices of the 
peace, either from indolence or corruption, neglected to put the law in execu- 
tion.' In fact, in course of time, 'it appeared,' he adds, 'that the consumption 
of gin had considerably increased every year since those heavy duties were im- 
posed.' " ' 

When in 1743 this Act was repealed, it was shown during the de- 
bates that 

"The quantity of gin distilled in England, which in 1684, when the business 
was introduced into this country, had been 527,000 gallons, had risen to 948,000 
in 1694, to 1,375,000 in 1704, to 2,000,000 in 1714, to 3,520,000 in 1724, to 
4,947,000 in 1734, and to not less than 7,160,000 in 1742. . . . Retailers 
were deterred from vending them (spirituous liquors) by the utmost encourage- 
ment that could be given to informers. . . . The prospect of raising money 
by detecting their (unlicensed retailers') practices incited many to turn informa- 
tion into a trade; and the facility with which the crime was to be proved en- 
couraged some to gratify their malice by perjury, and others tbe'ir avarice ; so 
that the multitude of informations became a public grievance, and the magis- 
trates themselves complained that the law was not to be executed. The perju- 
ries of informers were now so flagrant and common, that the people thought all 
informations malicious ; or, at least, thinking themselves oppressed by the law, 
they looked upon every man that promoted its execution as their enemy ; and 
therefore now began to declare war against informers, many of whom they 
treated with great cruelty, and some they murdered in the streets." 2 

Here, then, with absence of the looked-for benefit, there went pro- 
duction of unlooked-for evils, vast in amount. To recur to our figure, 
the original warp, instead of being made less by these direct blows, 
was made greater ; while other distortions, serious in kind and degree, 
were created. And beyond the encouragement of fraud, lying, malice, 
cruelty, murder, contempt of law, and the other couspicuous crooked- 
nesses named, multitudinous minor twists of sentiment and thought 
were caused or augmented. An indirect demoralization was added to 
a direct increase of the vice aimed at. 

Joining with the prevalent fallacy that results are proportionate to 
appliances, the general political bias has the further effect of fostering 
an undue faith in political forms. This tendency to ascribe every 
thing to the visible proximate agency, and to forget the hidden pow- 
ers without which the agency is worthless this tendency which makes 
the child gazing at a steam-engine ascribe every thing to the combina- 

1 Craik, in " Pictorial History," vol. iv., p. 853. 

1 Ibid. 


tion of parts it sees, not recognizing the fact that the engine can do 
nothing without the steam-generating boiler, and the boiler nothing 
without the water and the burning fuel, is a tendency which leads citi- 
zens to think that good government can be had by shaping public ar- 
rangements in this way or that way. Let us frame our state-machinery 
rightly, they urge, and all will be well. 

Yet this belief in the innate virtues of constitutions is as baseless 
as was the belief in the natural superiorities of royal personages. 
Just as, of old, loyalty to ruling men kept alive faith in their powers 
and virtues, notwithstanding perpetual disproofs, so, in these modern 
days, loyalty to constitutional forms keeps alive this faith in their 
intrinsic worth, spite of ever-recurring demonstration that their worth 
is entirely conditional. That those forms only are efficient which have 
grown naturally out of character, and that, in the absence of fit charac- 
ter, forms artificially obtained will be inoperative, are well shown by 
the governments of trading corporations. Let its contemplate a typi- 
cal instance of this government. 

The proprietors of a certain railway-company (I am here giving my 
personal experience as one of them) were summoned to a special meet- 
ing. The notice calling them together stated that the directors had 
agreed to lease their line to another company ; that every thing had 
been settled ; that the company taking the lease was then in posses- 
sion ; and that the proprietors were to be asked for their approval on 
the day named in the notice. The meeting took place. The chairman 
gave an account of the negotiation, and the agreement entered into. 
A motion approving of the agreement was proposed, and seconded, 
and to some extent discussed no notice whatever being taken of the 
extraordinary conduct of the board. Only when the motion was about 
to be put, did one proprietor protest against the astounding usurpa- 
tion which the transaction implied. He said that there had grown up 
a wrong conception of the relation between boards of directors and 
bodies of proprietors ; that boards had come to look upon themselves 
as supreme, and proprietors as subordinate, whereas, in fact, boards 
were simply agents appointed to act in the absence of their principals, 
the proprietors, and remained subject to their principals ; that, if, in 
any private business, an absent proprietor received from his manager 
the news that he had leased the business, that the person taking it was 
then in possession, and that the proprietor's signature to the agree- 
ment was wanted, his prompt return would be followed by a result 
quite different from that looked for namely, a dismissal of the mana- 
ger for having exceeded his duty in a very astonishing manner. This 
protest against the deliberate trampling down of principles recognized 
by the constitution of companies met with no response whatever : not 
a solitary sympathizer joined in the protest, even in a qualified form. 
Not only was the motion of. approval carried, but it was carried with- 
out any definite knowledge of the agreement itself. Nothing more 


than the chairman's verbal description was vouchsafed : no printed 
copies of it had been previously circulated, or were to be had at the 
meeting. And yet, astonishing to relate, this proprietary body had 
been already once betrayed by an agreement with this same leasing 
company! had been led to undertake the making of the line on the 
strength of a seeming guarantee, which proved to be no guarantee ! 
See, then, the lesson. The constitution of this company, like that of 
companies in general, was purely democratic. The proprietors elected 
their directors, the directors their chairman; and there were special 
provisions for restraining directors and replacing them when needful. 
Yet these forms of free government had fallen into disuse. And it is 
thus in all cases. Save on occasions when some scandalous misman- 
agement or corruption, bringing great loss, has caused a revolutionary 
excitement among them, railway-proprietors do not exercise their pow- 
ers. Retiring directors beinsr reelected as a matter of form, the board 
becomes practically a close body; usually some one member, often 
the chairman, acquires supremacy ; and so the government lapses into 
something between oligarchy and monarchy. All this, observe, hap- 
pening not exceptionally but as a rule, happens among bodies of men 
mostly well educated, and many highly educated people of means, 
merchants, lawyers, clergymen, etc. Ample disproof, if there needed 
any, of the notion that men are to be fitted for the right exercise of 
power by teaching. 

And now to return : Any one, who looks through these facts and 
facts akin to them for the truth they imply, may see that forms of 
government are valuable only where they are products of national 
character. No cunningly-devised political arrangements will of them- 
selves do any thing. No amount of knowledge respecting the uses of 
such arrangements will suffice. Nothing will suffice but the emotional 
nature to which such arrangements are adapted a nature which, 
during social progress, has evolved the arrangements. And wherever 
there is want of congruity between the nature and the arrangements 
wherever the arrangements, suddenly established by revolution, or 
pushed too far in advance by reforming change, are of a higher type 
than the national character demands, there is always a lapse propor- 
tionate to the incongruity. In proof I might enumerate the illustra- 
tions that lie scattered through the modern histories of Spain, of South 
America, of Mexico. Or I might dwell on the lesson (before briefly 
referred to) presented us in France ; where the recurring political cycle 
always shows us that new Democracy is but old Despotism differently 
spelt where now, as heretofore, we find Liberty Egalite, Fraternite, 
conspicuous on the public buildings, and now, as heretofore, have for 
interpretations of these words the extremest party-hatreds, vitupera- 
tions and actual assaults in the Assembly, wholesale arrests of men 
unfriendly to those in power, forbiddings of public meetings, and sup- 
pressions of journals ; and where now, as heretofore, writers, professing 


to be ardent advocates of political freedom, rejoice in these acts which 
shackle and gag their antngonists. But I will take, instead, a case 
more nearly allied to our own. 

For less strikingly, and in other ways, but still with sufficient 
clearness, this same truth is displayed in the United States. I do not 
refer only to such extreme illustrations of it as were at one time fur- 
nished in California ; where, along with that complete political freedom 
which some suppose to be the sole requisite for social welfare, most 
men lived in perpetual fear for their lives, while others prided them- 
selves on the notches which marked, on the hilts of their pistols, the 
number of men they had killed. Nor will I dwell on the state of so- 
ciety existing under republican forms in the West, where a white 
woman is burnt to death for marrying a negro, where secret gangs 
murder in the night men w r hose conduct they dislike, where mobs stop 
trains to lynch offending persons contained in them, where the carry- 
ing of a revolver is a matter of course, where judges are intimidated 
and the execution of justice often impracticable. I do but name these 
as extreme instances of the way in which, under institutions that nomi- 
nally secuie men from oppression, they may be intolerably oppressed 
unable to utter their opinions and to conduct their private lives as 
they please. Without going so far we may find in the Eastern States 
proof enough that the forms of liberty and the reality of liberty are 
not necessarily commensurate. A state of things under which men 
administer justice in their own cases, are applauded for so doing, and 
mostly acquitted if tried, is a state of things which has, in so far, ret- 
rograded toward a less civilized state ; for one of the cardinal traits 
of political progress is the gradual disappearance of personal retalia- 
tion, and the increasing supremacy of a ruling power which settles 
the differences between individuals and punishes aggressors. And, in 
proportion as this ruling power is enfeebled, the security of individuals 
is lessened. That security, lessened in this general way, is lessened in 
more special ways, we see in the bribery of judges, in the financial 
frauds by which many are robbed without possibility of remedy, in 
the corruptness of New York administration, which, taxing so heavily, 
does so little. And, under another aspect, we see the like in the do- 
ings of legislative bodies in the unfair advantages which some indi- 
viduals gain over others by " lobbying " in Credit-Mobilier briberies, 
and the like. While the outside form of free government remains, 
there has grown up within it a reality which makes government not 
free. The body of professional politicians, entering public life to get 
incomes, organizing their forces, and developing their tactics, have, 
in fact, come to be a ruling class quite different from that which the 
Constitution intended to secure ; and a class having interests by no 
means identical with public "interests. The worship of the appliances 
to liberty, in place of liberty itself, needs continually exposing. There 
is no intrinsic virtue in votes. The possession of representatives is* 


not in itself a benefit. These are but means to an end ; and the end 
is the maintenance of those conditions under which each citizen may 
carry on his life without further hindrances from other citizens than 
are involved by their equal claims the securing to each citizen all 
such beneficial results of his activities as his activities naturally bring. 
The worth of the means is measured by the degree in which this end 
is achieved ; and a citizen nominally having complete means, and but 
partially securing the end, is less free than another who uses incom- 
plete means to more purpose. 

But why go abroad for proofs of the truth that political forms are 
of worth only in proportion as they are vitalized by national charac- 
ter ? "We have proofs at home. I do not mean those furnished by 
past constitutional history I do not merely refer to those many facts 
showing us that the nominal power of our representative body became 
an actual power only by degrees ; and that the theoretically indepen- 
dent House of Commons took centuries to escape from regal and aris- 
tocratic sway, and establish a practical independence. I refer to the 
present time, and to actions of our representative body in the pleni- 
tude of its power. This assembly of deputies chosen by constituencies 
now so greatly extended, and therefore so well fitted, as it would 
seem, for guarding the individual, of whatever grade, against trespasses 
upon his individuality, nevertheless authorizes new trespasses upon 
his individuality. A popular government, just made more popular, 
has established, without the slightest hindrance, a law and an official 
organization that treat with contempt the essential principles of con- 
stitutional rule. Here is a brief account of the process : 

On the 20th June, 1864, just before two o'clock in the morning, there 
was silently read a first time an act giving, in some localities, certain 
new powers to the police. On the 27th of that month, it was read a 
second time, also without comment at what hour Hansard does not 
show. Just before two o'clock in the morning, on June 30th, there 
was appointed, without remark, a select committee to consider this 
proposed act. On the 15th July the report of this committee was re- 
ceived. On the 19th the bill was recommitted, and the report on it 
received all in silence. On the 20th July it was considered still in 
silence as amended. And, on the 21st July, it was read a third time 
and passed equally in silence. Taken next day to the House of 
Lords, it there, in silence equally profound, passed through all its 
stages in four days (? three). This act not proving strong enough to 
meet the views of naval and military officers (who, according to the 
testimony of one of the select committee, were the prompters of it), 
was in 1866 "amended." At one o'clock in the morning, on March 
16th of that year, the act amending it was read a first time ; and it 
was read a second time on the 22d, when the Secretary of the Admiralty, 
describing it as an act to secure the better health of soldiers and sail- 
ors, said: "It was intended to renew an act passed in 1864, with ad- 


ditional powers." And now, for the first time, there came brief adverse 
comments from two members. On April 9th there was appointed a 
select committee, consisting mainly of the same members as the pre- 
vious one predominantly state-officers, of one class or other. On 
the 20th, the report of the committee was received. On the 26th, the 
bill was recommitted, just before two o'clock in the morning ; and on 
the report there came some short comments, which were, however, 
protested against on the ground that the bill was not to be publicly 
discussed. And then, to end this brief history, observe the reception 
given to the only direct opposition raised. When, to qualify a clause 
defining the powers of the police, it was proposed to add, " that the 
justices before whom such information shall be made shall in all cases 
require corroborative testimony and support thereof, other than that 
of the members of the police force," this qualification was negatived 
without a word. 

And now, what was this act, passed the first time absolutely with- 
out comment, and passed in its so-called amended form with but the 
briefest comments, made under protest that comments were inter- 
dicted ? What was this measure, so conspicuously right that discus- 
sion of it was thought superfluous ? It was a measure by which, in 
certain localities, one-half of the people were brought under the sum- 
mary jurisdiction of magistrates, in respect of certain acts charged 
against them. Further, those by whom they were to be charged, and 
by whose unsupported testimony charges were to be proved, were 
agents of the law, looking for promotion as the reward of vigilance 
agents placed under a permanent temptation to make and substantiate 
charges. And yet more, the substantiation of charges was made 
comparatively easy by only requiring a single local magistrate to be 
convinced, by the testimony, on oath, of one of these agents of the law, 
that a person charged Avas guilty of the alleged acts acts which, 
held to be thus proved, were punished by periodic examinations of a 
repulsive kind, and forced inclusion in a degraded class. A House of 
Commons, elected by large constituencies, many of which are now 
chiefly composed of working-men, showed the greatest alacrity in 
making a law under which, in sundry districts, the liberty of a work- 
ing-man's wife or daughter remains intact only so long as a detective 
does not give evidence which leads a magistrate to believe her a pros- 
titute ! And this bill, which, even had there been something like ad- 
equate reasons (which we have seen there were not) for dispensing 
with precautions against injustice, should, at any rate, have been passed 
only after full debate and anxious criticism, was passed with every 
effort to maintain secrecy ; and this on the pretext that decency for- 
bade discussion of it all the while that Mordaunt-cases and the like 
were being reported with a fulness proportionate to the amount of ob- 
jectionable details they brought out ! Nor is this all. Not only do 
the provisions of the act make easy the establishment of charges by 


men who are placed under a temptation to make them, but these men 
are guarded against penalties apt to be brought on them by abusing 
their power. A poor woman who proceeds against one of them, for 
making a groundless accusation ruinous to her character, does so with 
this risk before her : that, if she fails to get a verdict, she has to pay 
the defendant's costs (not taxed costs hut full costs) ; whereas a ver- 
dict in her favor does not give her costs : only by a special order of 
the judge does she get costs ! And this is the "even-handed jus- 
tice " provided by a government freer in form than any we have ever 
had ! " ' 

Let it not be supposed that in arguing thus I am implying that 
forms of government are unimportant. While contending that they 
are of value only in so far as a national character gives life to them, it 
is consistent also to contend that they are essential as agencies through 
which that national character may work out its effects. A boy cannot 
wield to purpose an implement of size and weight fitted to the hand 
of a man. A man cannot do effective work with the boy's implement : 
he must have one adapted to his larger grasp and greater strength. 
To each the implement is essential ; but the results which each achieves 
are not to be measured by the size or make of the implement alone, 
but by its adaptation to his powers. Similarly with political instru- 
mentalities. It is possible to hold that a political instrumentality is 
of value only in proportion as there exists a strength of character 
needful for using it, and at the same time to hold that a fit political 
instrumentality is indispensable. Here, as before, results are not pro- 
portionate to appliances ; but they are proportionate to the force for 
due operation of which certain appliances are necessary. 

One other still more genei*al and more subtle kind of political bias 
has to be guarded against. Beyond that excess of faith in laws and in 
political forms which is fostered by awe of regulative agencies, there 

1 When, in dealing with the vitiation of evidence, I before referred to the legislation 
here named, I commented on the ready acceptance of those one-sided statements made 
to justify such legislation, in contrast with the contempt for those multitudinous proofs 
that gross abuses would inevitably result from the arrangements made. Since that pas- 
sage was written, there has been a startling justification of it. A murder has been com- 
mitted by a gang of sham-detectives (one of them a government employe) ; and the trial 
has brought out the fact that for the last three years the people of Lille have been sub- 
ject to an organized terrorism which has grown out of the system of prostitute-inspec- 
tion. Though, during those three years, five hundred women are said by one of these 
criminals to have fallen into their clutches though the men have been blackmailed 
and the women outraged to this immense extent, yet the practice went on for the 
reason (obvious enough, one would have thought, to need no proof by illustration) that 
those aggrieved preferred to submit rather than endanger their characters by complain- 
ing ; and the practice would doubtless have gone on still but for the murder of one of the 
victims. To some this case will carry conviction : probably not, however, to those who, 
in pursuance of what they are pleased to call " practical legislation," prefer an induction 
based on a Blue Book to an induction based on universal history. 


is, even among those least swayed by this awe, a vague faith in the im- 
mediate possibility of something much better than now exists a tacit 
assumption that, even with men as they now are, public affairs might 
be much better managed. The mental attitude of such may be best 
displayed by an imaginary conversation between one of them and a 
member of the Legislature. 

" Why do your agents, with no warrant but a guess, make this 
surcharge on my income-tax return ; leaving me to pay an amount that 
is not due, and to establish a precedent for future like payments, or 
else to lose valuable time in proving their assessment excessive, and, 
while so doing, to expose all my affairs? You leave me to choose 
between two losses, direct and indirect, for the sole reason that your 
assessor fancies, or professes to fancy, that I have understated my in- 
come. Why do you allow this ? Why in this case do you invert the 
principle which, in cases between citizens, you hold to be an equitable 
one the principle that a claim must be proved by him who makes it, 
not disproved by him against whom it is made ? Is it in pursuance 
of old political usages that you do this ? Is it to harmonize with the 
practice of making one whom you had falsely accused pay the costs of 
his defence, although in suits between citizens you require the loser to 
bear all the expense ? a practice you have but lately relinquished. 
Do you desire to keep up the spirit of the good old rulers who im- 
pressed laborers and paid them what they pleased, or the still older 
ones who seized whatever they wanted ? Would you maintain this 
tradition by laying hands on as much as possible of my earnings and 
leaving me to get part of it back if I can : expecting, indeed, that I 
shall very likely submit to the loss rather than undergo the worry, 
and hindrance, and injury, needful to recover what you have wrong- 
fully taken ? I was brought up to regard the Government and its 
officers as my protectors; and now I find them aggressors against 
whom I have to defend myself." 

" What would you have ? Our agents could not bring forward 
proof that an income-tax return was less than it should be. Either the 
present method must be pursued, or the tax must be abandoned." 

" I have no concern with your alternative. I have merely to point 
out that betw T een man and man you recognize no such plea. When a 
plaintiff makes a claim but cannot produce evidence, you do not make 
the defendant submit if he fails to show that the claim is groundless. 
You say that, if no evidence can be given, nothing can be done. 
Why do you ignore this principle when your agents make the claim ? 
Why from the fountain of equity comes there this inequity ? Is it to 
maintain consistency with that system of criminal jurisprudence under 
which, w r hile professing to hold a man innocent till proved guilty, you 
treat him before trial like a convict as you did Dr. Hessel ? Are 
your views really represented by these Middlesex magistrates you 
have appointed, who see no hardship to a man of culture in the seclu- 


sion of a prison-cell, and the subjection to prison-rules, on the mere 
suspicion that he has committed a murder ? " 

" The magistrates held that the rules allowed them to make no 
distinctions. You would not introduce class-legislation into prison- 
discipline ? " 

" I remember that is one of the excuses ; and I cheerfully give 
credit to this endeavor to treat all classes alike. I do so the more 
cheerfully because this application of the principle of equality differs 
much from those which you ordinarily make as when, on discharging 
some of your well-paid officials who have held sinecures, you give them 
large pensions, for the reason, I suppose, that their expensive styles 
of living have disabled them from saving any thing ; while, when you 
discharge dock-yard laborers, you do not give them compensation, for 
the reason, I suppose, that out of weekly wages it is easy to accumu- 
late a competence. This, however, by the way. I am here concerned 
with that action of your political system which makes it an aggressor 
on citizens, whether rich or poor, instead of a protector. The instances 
I have given are but trivial instances of its general operation. Law is 
still a name of dread, as it was in past times. My legal adviser, being 
my friend, strongly recommends rne not to seek your aid in recover- 
ing property fraudulently taken from me ; and I perceive, from their 
remarks, that my acquaintances would pity me as a lost man if I got 
into your Court of Equity. Whether active or passive, I am in danger. 
Your arrangements are such that I may be pecuniarily knocked on the 
head by some one who pretends I have injured his property. I have 
the alternative of letting my pocket be picked by the scamp who 
makes this baseless allegation in the hope of being paid to desist, or 
of meeting the allegation in Chancery, and there letting my pocket be 
picked, probably to a still greater extent, by your agencies. Nay, 
when you have, as you profess, done me justice by giving me a verdict 
and condemning the scamp to pay costs, I find I may still be ruined 
by having to pay my own costs if he has no means. To make your 
system congruous throughout, it only needs that, when I call him to 
save me from the foot-pad, your policeman should deal me still heavier 
blows than the foot-pad did, and empty my purse of what remains 
in it." 

" Why so impatient ? Are we not going to reform it all ? Was 
it not last session proposed to make a Court of Appellate Jurisdiction 
by appointing four peers with salaries of 7,000 each ? And has there 
not been brought forward this session, even quite early, a Government- 
measure for facilitating appeals ; so that the final judgments may not 
be postponed from year to year ? Give us a little time, and we will 
make these renewals of litigation much easier." 

" Thanks in advance for the improvement. When I have failed to 
ruin myself by a first suit, it will be a consolation to think that I can 
complete my ruin by a second with less delay than heretofore. Mean- 


while, instead of this reform which you seem to think of primary im- 
portance, I should be obliged if you would diminish the occasion for 
appeals, by making your laws such as it is possible for me to know, or, 
at any rate, such as it is possible for your judges to know ; and I 
should be further obliged if you would give me easier remedies against 
aggressions, instead of remedies so costly, so deceptive, so dangerous, 
that I prefer suffering the aggressions in silence. Daily I experience 
the futility of your system. I start on a journey expecting (foolishly, 
I admit) that, in conformity with the advertised times, I shall just be 
able to reach a certain distant town before night ; but the train, being 
an hour late at one of the junctions, I am defeated am put to the 
cost of a night spent on the way, and lose half the next day. I paid 
for a first-class seat that I might have space, comfort, and unobjec- 
tionable fellow-travellers ; but, stopping at a town where a fair is 
going on, the guard, on the plea that the third-class carriages are full, 
thrusts into the compartment more persons than there are places for, 
who, both by behavior and odor, are repulsive. Thus in two ways I 
am defrauded. For part of the fraud I have no remedy ; and, for the 
rest, my remedy, doubtful at best, is practically unavailable. Is the 
reply that, against the alleged breach of contract as to time, the com- 
pany has guarded itself, or professes to have guarded itself, by dis- 
claiming responsibility ? The allowing such a disclaimer is one of your 
countless negligences. You do not allow me to plead irresponsibility 
if I give the company bad money, or if, having bought a ticket for the 
second class, I travel in the first. On my side you regard the contract 
as quite definite ; but, on the other side, you practically allow the con- 
tract to remain undefined. And now see the general effects of your 
carelessness ! Scarcely any trains keep their times ; and the result 
of chronic unpunctuality is a multiplication of accidents and loss of 

" How about laissez-faire? I thought your notion was, that the 
less Government meddled with these things the better ; and now you 
complain that the law does not secure your comfort in a railway-car- 
riage, and see that you are delivered at your journey's end in due time. 
I suppose you approved of the proposal made in the House last ses- 
sion, that companies should be compelled to give foot-warmers to sec- 
ond-class passengers." 

" Really, you amaze me. I should have thought that not even or- 
dinary intelligence, much less select legislative intelligence, would 
have fallen into such a confusion. I am not blaming you for failing to 
secure me comfort or punctuality. I am blaming you for failing to en- 
force contracts. Just as strongly as I protest against your neglect in 
letting a company take my money, and then not give me all I paid 
for, so strongly should I protest did you dictate how much con- 
venience should be given me for so much money. Surely I need not 
remind you that your civil law in general proceeds on the principle 


that the goodness or badness of a bargain is the affair of those who 
make it, not your affair ; but that it is your duty to enforce the bar- 
gain when made. Only in proportion as this is done can men's lives 
in society be maintained. The condition to all life, human or other, is 
that effort put forth shall bring the means of repairing the parts Avasted 
by effort shall bring, too, more or less of surplus. A creature that 
continuously expends energy without return in nutriment dies ; and a 
creature is indirectly killed by any thing which, after energies have 
been expended, habitually intercepts the return. This holds of asso- 
ciated human beings as of all other beings. In a society, most citizens 
do not obtain sustenance directly by the powers they exert, but do it 
indirectly : each gives the produce of his powers exerted in his special 
way in exchange for the produce of other men's powers exerted in 
other ways. The condition under which only this obtaining of sus- 
tenance, to replace the matter wasted by effort, can be carried on in so- 
ciety, is fulfilment of contracts. Non-fulfilment of contract is letting 
energy be expended in expectation of a return, and then withholding 
the return. The maintenance of contract, therefore, is the maintenance 
of the fundamental principle of all life under the form given to it by 
social arrangements. I blame you because you do not maintain this 
fundamental princijile ; and, as a consequence, allow life to be impeded 
and sacrificed in countless indirect ways. You are, I admit, solicitous 
about my life as endangered by my own acts. Though you very in- 
adequately guard me against injuries from others, you seem particu- 
larly anxious that I shall not injure myself. Emulating Sir Peter Lau- 
rie, who made himself so famous by threatening to " put down suicide," 
you do what you can to prevent me from risking my limbs. Your 
great care of me is shown, for instance, by enforcing a by-law which 
forbids me to leave a railway-train in motion ; and, if I jump out, I 
find that, whether I hurt myself or not, you decide to hurt me by a 
fine. 1 Not only do you thus punish me when I run the risk of punish- 
ing myself, but your amiable anxiety for my welfare shows itself in 
taking money out of my pocket to provide me with various conven- 
iences baths and wash-houses, for example, and free access to books. 
Out of my pocket, did I say ? Not always. Sometimes out of the 
pockets of those least able to afford it ; as when, from poor authors 
who lose by their books, you demand gratis copies for your public li- 
braries, that I and others may read them for nothing Dives robbing 
Lazarus that he may give alms to the well-clad ! But these many 
things you offer are things I do not ask ; and you will not effectually 
insure me the one thing I do ask. I do not want you to ascertain for 
me the nature of the sun's corona, or to find a northwest passage, or 
to explore the bottom of the sea; but I do want you to insure me 
against aggression, by making the punishment of aggressors, civil as 
well as criminal, swift, certain, and costless to those injured. Instead 

1 See case in Times, December 11, 1872. 


of doing this, yon persist in doing other things. Instead of securing 
me the bread due to my efforts, you give me a stone a sculptured 
block from Ephesus. I am quite content to enjoy only what I get by 
my own exertions, and to have only that information and those pleas- 
ures for which I pay. I am quite content to suffer the evils brought on 
me by my own defects believing, indeed, that for me and all there is 
no other wholesome discipline. But you fail to do what is needed. 
You are careless about insuring to me the unhindered enjoyment of 
the benefits my efforts have purchased ; and you insist on giving me, 
at other people's expense, benefits my efforts have not purchased, and 
on saving me from penalties I deserve." 

" You are unreasonable. We are doing our best with the enormous 
mass of business brought before us : sitting on committees, reading 
evidence and reports, debating till one or two in the morning. Ses- 
sion after session we work hard at all kinds of measures for the public 
welfare devising plans for educating the people ; enacting better ar- 
rangements for the health of towns ; making inquiries into the impurity 
of rivers; deliberating on plans to diminish drunkenness ; prescribing 
modes of building houses that they may not fall ; deputing commission- 
ers to facilitate emigration ; and so on. You can go to no place that 
does not show signs of our activity. Here are public gardens formed 
by our local lieutenants, the municipal bodies ; here are light-houses we 
have put up to prevent shipwrecks. Everywhere we have appointed 
inspectors to see that salubrity is maintained ; everywhere there are 
vaccinators to see that due precautions against small-pox are observed ; 
and, if, happening to be in a district where our arrangements are in 
force, your desires are not well controlled, we do our best to insure 
you a healthy " 

" Yes, I know what you would say. It is all of a piece with the rest 
of your policy. "While you fail to protect me against others, you insist 
on protecting me against myself. And your very failure to do the 
essential thing results from the absorption of your time in doing non- 
essential things. Do you think that your beneficences make up for 
the injustices you let me bear? I do not want these sops and gratui- 
ties ; but I do want security against trespasses, direct and indirect 
security that is real, and not nominal. See the predicament in which 
I am placed. You forbid me (quite rightly, I admit) to administer 
justice on my own behalf; and you profess to administer it for me. I 
may not take summary measures to resist encroachment, to reclaim 
my own, or to seize that which I bargained to have for my services : 
you tell me that I must demand your aid to enforce my claim. But 
demanding your aid commonly brings such frightful evils that I prefer 
to bear the wrong done me. So that, practically, having forbidden 
me to defend myself, you fail to defend me. By this my life is viti- 
ated along with the lives of citizens in general. All transactions are 
impeded; time and labor are lost; the prices of commodities are 


raised. Honest men are defrauded, and rogues thrive. Debtors out- 
wit their creditors ; bankrupts make purses by their failures, and re- 
commence on larger scales ; and financial frauds that ruin their thou- 
sands go unpunished." 

Thus far our impatient friend. And now see how untenable is his 
position. He actually supposes that it is possible to get government 
conducted on rational principles ! His tacit assumption is that, out of a 
community morally imperfect, and intellectually imperfect, there may 
in some way be had legislative regulation that is not proportionately 
imperfect ! He is under a delusion. Not by any kind of government, 
established after any method, can the thing be done. A good and 
wise autocrat cannot be chosen or otherwise obtained by a people not 
good and wise. Goodness and wisdom will not characterize the suc- 
cessive families of an oligarchy, arising out of a bad and foolish peo- 
ple, any more than they will characterize a line of kings. Nor will 
any system of representation, limited or universal, direct or indirect, 
do more than represent the average nature of citizens. To dissipate 
his notion that truly-rational government can be provided for them- 
selves by a people not truly rational, he needs but to read election- 
speeches, and observe how votes are gained by clap-trap appeals to 
senseless prejudices, and by fostering hopes of impossible benefits, 
while votes are lost by. candid statements of stern truths and endeav- 
ors to dissipate groundless expectations. Let him watch the process, 
and he will see that when the fermenting mass of political passions 
and beliefs is put into the electoral still, there distils over not the wis- 
dom alone, but the folly also sometimes in the larger proportion. 
Nay, if he watches closely he may suspect that not only is the corpor- 
ate conscience lower than the average individual conscience, but the 
corporate intelligence too. The minority of the wise in a constituency 
is liable to be wholly submerged by the majority of the ignorant ; 
often ignorance alone gets represented. In the representative assem- 
bly, again, the many mediocrities practically rule the few superiorities: 
the few superior are obliged to express those views only which the 
rest can understand, and must keep to themselves their best and far- 
thest-reaching thoughts, as thoughts that would have no weight. He 
needs but to remember that abstract principles are pooh-poohed in the 
House of Commons, to see at once that, while the unwisdom expresses 
itself abundantly, what of highest wisdom there may be has to keep 
silence. And, if he asks an illustration of the way in which the intelli- 
gence of the body of members brings out a result lower than would 
the intelligence of the average member, he may see one in those mud- 
dlings of provisions and confusions of language in Acts of Parliament, 
which have lately been calling forth protests from the judges. 

Thus the assumption that it is possible for a nation to get in the 
shape of law something like embodied reason, when it is not itself 
pervaded by a correlative reasonableness, is improbable a priori and 


disproved a posteriori. The belief that truly good legislation and ad- 
ministration can go along with a humanity not truly good, is a chronic 
delusion. While our own form of government, giving means for ex- 
pressing and enforcing claims, is the best form yet evolved for pre- 
venting aggressions of class upon class, and of individuals on one 
another, yet it is hopeless to expect from it, any more than from other 
forms of government, a capacity and a rectitude greater than those of 
the society out of which it grows. And criticisms like the foregoing, 
which imply that its shortcomings can "be set right by expostulating 
with existing governing agents or by appointing others, imply that 
subtlest kind of political bias which is apt to remain when the stronger 
kinds have been got rid of. 

Second only to the class-bias, we may say that the political bias most 
seriously distorts sociological conceptions. That this is so with the 
bias of political party, every one sees in some measure, though not in 
full measure. It is manifest to the Radical that the bias of the Tory 
blinds him to a present evil or to a future good. It is manifest to the 
Tory that the Radical does not see the benefit there is in that which 
he wishes to destroy, and fails to recognize the mischiefs likely to be 
done by the institution he would establish. But neither imagines that 
the other is no less needful than himself. The Radical, with his im- 
practicable ideal, is unaware that his enthusiasm will serve only to 
advance things a little, but not at all as he expects ; and he will not 
admit that the obstructiveness of the Tory is a wholesome check. 
The Tory, doggedly resisting, cannot perceive that the established 
order is but relatively good, and that his defence of it is simply a 
means of preventing premature change ; wdiile he fails to recognize in 
the bitter antagonism and sanguine hopes of the Radical the agencies 
without which there could be no progress. Thus neither fully under- 
stands his own function or the function of his opponent ; and, by as 
much as he falls short of understanding it, he is disabled from rightly 
understanding social phenomena. 

The more general kinds of political bias distort men's sociological 
conceptions in other ways, but quite as seriously. There is this peren- 
nial delusion, common to Radical and Tory, that legislation is omnipo- 
tent, and that things will get done because laws are passed to do them; 
there is this confidence in one or other form of government, due to the 
belief that a government once established will retain its form and 
work as was intended ; there is this hope that by some means the col- 
lective wisdom can be separated from the collective folly, and set over 
it in such way as to guide things aright all of them implying that 
general political bias which inevitably coexists with subordination to 
political agencies. The effect on sociological speculation is to main- 
tain the conception of a society as something manufactured by states- 
men, and to distract attention from the phenomena of social evolution. 



While the regulating agency occupies the thoughts, scarcely any 
thought is given to those astounding processes and results due to the 
energies regulated. The genesis of the vast productive and manufac- 
turing and distributing agencies which has gone on spontaneously, 
often hindered, and at best only restrained, by governing powers, is 
passed over with unobservant eyes. And thus, by continually con- 
templating the power which keeps in Order, and contemplating rarely, 
if at all, the activities that are kept in order, there is produced an ex- 
tremely one-sided theory of society. 

Clearly, it is with this as it is with the kinds of bias previously con- 
sidered the degree of it bears a certain necessary relation to the 
tempory phase of progress. It can diminish only as fast as society 
advances. A well-balanced social self-consciousness, like a well-bal- 
anced individual self-consciousness, is the accompaniment of a high 


By Captain DOUGLAS GALTON, C.B., F. E. S. 

MY endeavor will be, to show that there may be obtained, from a 
much-diminished consumption of coal in fireplaces used for 
domestic purposes, all the advantages which have hitherto resulted 
from the wasteful expenditure which has prevailed. 

I have no expectation of stating any thing that is actually new, 
because the functions and the attributes of heat and combustion have 
long been thoroughly discussed in their application to industrial ob- 
jects. I hope, however, to draw attention to important considerations 
which govern the application of heat, and which are very generally 
neglected in fireplaces, in kitchen-ranges, and in most warming ap- 

I think I may say, without hesitation, that the quantity of fuel now 
absolutely wasted in our houses amounts to at least five-sixths of the 
coal consumed. That is to say, if the greatest care and the best meth- 
od of applying the heat were in all cases adopted, we could eifect in 
heating and cooking all that we now effect, with one-sixth of the coal 
we now use ; and, if, in the construction of our fireplaces and cooking 
apparatus, simple principles were recognized and ordinary care was 
used, we might without difficulty save from two-thirds to half of the 
coal consumed. 

In my remarks on this question I intend to confine myself rather 
to the enunciation of the principles which should govern the applica- 
tion of heat for domestic purposes, than to give descriptions, except 
in a general way, of special appliances. 

VOL. III. 13 


The inventors of apparatus for warming and cooking are so nu- 
merous, and the merits of a large number of inventions which have 
come into common use are of so negative a value, that it would not 
be fair to single out some individual instance for condemnation, and 
leave unnoticed other apparatus which possess equal defects and may- 
be in equally extensive use. Mr. Edwards's very interesting and in- 
structive treatise on domestic fireplaces clearly shows with what per- 
sistent perverseness the inventions which possess real merit have been 
almost invariably passed by. This result, I fear, is due mainly to the 
fact that architects and builders have not been penetrated with sound 
principles on the warming of our dwellings, and have encouraged the 
adoption of showy grates, based on false principles, instead of taking 
the trouble to make new designs of pretty grates based on sound prin- 
ciples of warming. 

The question of the consumption of coal for domestic purposes 
divides itself into two branches : 

1. The quantity required for warmth. 

2. The quantity required for cooking. 

The former is required only for the winter months, the latter is a 
permanent quantity during the year. 

The waste of coal in domestic fireplaces is, however, no new ques- 
tion. It is quite eighty years since the subject was most fully treated 
of by Count Rumford, and afterward by Mr. Sylvester. They showed 
conclusively what enormous savings in fuel, for heating, cooking, and 
drying, were possible. Count Rumford' s principles have never been 
generally applied, because the price of coals has ruled so low that 
householders have not much cared for economy. "We hear Count 
Rumford's axioms now and then quoted by rival manufacturers in sup- 
port of their newly-devised grates or kitchen-ranges ; but, in many 
cases, the manufacturer, in the article he supplies, seems to be endeav- 
oring to violate, rather than to follow, every axiom which Count Rum- 
ford ever laid down. 

I do not mean to say that improvements have not taken place since 
Count Rumford's time, but the progress in the direction of economy 
has been very small, when we consider the great ingenuity displayed 
in devising new forms of apparatus. In respect of our fireplaces, our 
chief talent has been expended in providing a means of warming the 
outside air, and of polluting it by the smoke and soot we project 
into it. 

The methods which have been adopted for warming houses fall 
under the several heads of 

1. Open fireplaces. 

2. Close stoves (the German plan). 

3. The Roman hypocaust, or floors warmed by direct action of fire. 

4. Hot-water pipes, without ventilation. 

5. Hot air warmed by a cockle, or by hot-water pipes. 


The class of apparatus to be adopted in any country will vary with 
the climate. In England the climate is of so very changeable a nature, 
that the amount of heat required for comfort in a house varies from 
day to day. There are many days in the middle of winter when it is 
quite possible to sit in an unwarmed room ; or, sometimes a warm 
morning is followed by a cold afternoon, when the sudden application 
of heat is desirable. It is probably for this reason that in England 
the open fireplace has, as a rule, held its own against all the proposals 
for warming houses by means of one central fire. 

The open fireplace in ordinary use warms only by means of the 
direct radiation of the flame into the air of the room. It is the most 
primitive mode of warming, derived from the days when our ances- 
tors inhabited caves. But these ancestors, by placing the fire in the 
centre of the floor of the cave, derived from it a larger portion of heat 
than we generally do, who place it against the wall of the room, and 
carry off the greater part of the heat up a flue separated from the 
room. The earlier fireplaces consisted of a large square brick opening, 
with a chimney carried up for the escape of smoke. The large square 
fireplace was adverse to the direct radiation into the room of the heat 
generated, and the large chimney removed from the room a very con- 
siderable quantity of air, which had necessarily to be replaced by cold 
air flowing into the room through all available apertures, and this 
created strong draughts. 

Franklin, Count Rumford, and Sylvester, are the most prominent 
names of those who at an early period contributed improvements to 
the warming of our houses. The main principle of fireplace construc- 
tion advocated by Count Rumford, eighty years ago, was, that the 
heat radiated from the fire directly into the room should be developed 
to the utmost. He brought the back of the fireplace as prominently 
forward as possible ; he sloped the sides so as to reflect heat into the 
room ; he advocated the use of fire-brick backs and sides instead of 
iron ; he reduced the size of the chimney opening, so as to prevent the 
chimney carrying off the large quantity of warmed air it used to re- 
move in his time. Our manufacturers of fireplaces have continued 
in the same groove. They have, undoubtedly, in some cases, largely 
developed the use of radiant heat. There are fireplaces, eminently 
successful as radiators of heat, of a circular or concave form, with pol- 
ished iron sides, the fire being placed against a fire-brick back forming 
the apex of the concavity. So long as the concave surfaces are bright, 
the heat thrown out by them when a clear flame is burning is very 
great, but the gases from the flame pass directly off into the chimney 
while they are still at a very high temperature. The heat of the flame 
at that part will often be between 1,200 and 1,300 Fahr., and a 
very large proportion of this heat, to the extent of at least nine-tenths 
of that generated by the combustion of the fuel, is carried directly up 
the chimney. 


One pound of coal is capable, if all the heat of combustion is util- 
ized, of raising the temperature of a room, twenty feet square and 
twelve feet high, to ten degrees above the temperature of the outer 
air. If the room were not ventilated at all, and the walls were com- 
posed of non-conducting materials, the consumption of fuel to maintain 
this temperature would be very small, but, in proportion as the air 
of the room was renewed, so would the consumption of fuel necessary 
to maintain that temperature increase. If the volume of air contained 
in the room were changed every hour, one pound of coal additional 
would be required per hour to heat the inflowing air, so that, to main- 
tain the temperature at ten degrees above that of the outer air during 
twelve hours, would require twelve pounds of coal. 

The principle of the ordinary open fireplace is that the coal shall 
be placed in a grate, by which air is admitted from the bottom and 
sides to aid in the combustion of coal ; and an ordinary fireplace, for 
a room of twenty feet square and twelve feet high, will contain from 
about fifteen to twenty pounds at a time, and, if the fire be kept up 
for twelve hours, probably the consumption will be about one hundred 
pounds, or the consumption may be assumed at about eight pounds 
of coal an hour. 

One pound of coal may be assumed to require, for its perfect com- 
bustion, 150 cubic feet of atmospheric air; 8 lbs. would require 1,200 
cubic feet ; but, at a very low computation of the velocity of the gases 
in an ordinary chimney-flue, the air which would pass up the chimney 
at a rate of from 4 to 6 feet per second, or from 14,000 to 20,000 cubic 
feet per hour, with the chimneys in ordinary use, and I have often 
found a velocity of from 10 to 12 feet per second giving an outflow of 
ah* of from 35,000 to 40,000 cubic feet per hour this air comes into 
the room cold, and when it is beginning to be warmed it is drawn 
away up the chimney, and its place filled by fresh cold air. A room 
20 feet square and 12 feet high contains 4,800 cubic feet of space. In 
such a room, with a good fire, the air would be removed four or five 
times an hour with a moderate draught in the chimney, and six or 
eight times with a blazing fire ; the air so removed would be replaced 
by cold air. The atmosphere of the room is thus being cooled down 
rapidly by the continued influx of cold air to supply the place of the 
warmer air drawn up the chimney. The very means adopted to heat 
the room produces draughts, because the stronger the direct radiation, 
or rather the brighter the flame in open fireplaces, the stronger must 
be the draught of the fire and the abstraction of heat. The only way 
to prevent draughts is to adopt means for providing fresh warmed air 
to supply the place of that removed. 

The most natural way of providing warmed air is to utilize the ex- 
cess of heat which passes up the chimney, beyond what is required for 
creating an adequate draught, and to use this heat to warm fresh air ; 
and the warmed air should be admitted into the room in such places 


as will enable it to flow most easily into the currents prevailing in the 
room. These considerations led to the construction of the ventilating 
fireplace, which has been so extensively used in barracks. This fireplace 
will keep a room at a given temperature with one-third of the quantity 
of fuel usually required in most ordinary fireplaces, and with less than 
one-half the quantity required in the very best-constructed radiating 
fireplaces. , 

The open ventilating fireplace, if properly constructed, is the sim- 
plest and most effectual means of warming and ventilating a single 
room, because it absorbs all spare heat from the chimney beyond what 
is necessary to create a draught ; and, while it admits warmed air into 
the upper part of the room in an imperceptible current, the action of 
the fire draws air from the lower part of the room, and thus provides 
for a circulation of the warmed air toward the floor of the room. 

The ventilating fireplaces invented by me, and now called by my 
name, but which have never been the subject of a patent, were a con- 
sequence of the efforts made by the late Lord Herbert and Miss Night- 
ingale to improve the health of the army. The death-rate of the sol- 
diers, when this question was taken up, was found to be larger than 
that of many unhealthy civil populations. Soldiers are, however, a 
body of men picked out as the healthiest members of the nation ; they 
should, therefore, have had an exceptionally low death-rate in peace- 
time. A main element in the improvement of their health lay in im- 
proving the ventilation of their barrack-rooms. But soldiers, when- 
ever they became aware of the existence of any fresh-air currents, in- 
sisted on closing the inlets. It was also made a sine qua non by the 
Government that the barrack-rooms should be warmed by open fire- 
places ; and, moreover, the Government required that the increased 
amount of ventilation declared to be necessary on medical grounds 
should be provided without any increase in the amount of fuel allowed. 
By the adoption of these fireplaces, and by the introduction of simple 
and improved arrangements for cooking the soldiers' food, the Govern- 
ment were enabled to effect a saving on the fuel supplied, instead of 
being obliged to incur a large increased expenditure on account of the 
additional ventilation introduced into the barrack-rooms. The manu- 
facturer of these fireplaces informs me that he has supplied between 
9,000 and 10,000 to the military departments up to this time. 

The principle of warming by means of an open fireplace, or by 
means of a German stove or a Gill stove, is applicable to single rooms, 
that is to say, each room must have its own appliance, and each room 
may be self-contained as far as regards its heating and ventilation. 

The close stoves employed in Germany use less fuel in warming 
the room than any open fireplace, but they are economical because the 
heat generated is not removed by the frequent renewal of the air. 
This element of their efficiency in warming, however, makes them 
most unhealthy. 


The most recent improvements in the use of the German stove for 
warming have been introduced by Dr. Bohm, in the Rudolf Hospital 
at Vienna. He there warms fresh air by means of passages con- 
structed in the fire-clay stoves, placed in the ward, and the fresh 
warmed air passes into the ward from the top of the stove. He pro- 
vides flues of a large size, and proportioned to the size of the ward, 
from the level of the ward floor to above the roof, and the difference 
of temperature between the air in the ward and the outer air causes a 
sufficient current in these flues to ventilate adequately the ward. By 
this means the fresh warmed air, instead of passing off to the upper 
part of the ward and then away by flues there, is made to circulate 
toward the floor of the ward, thus bringing into action the principle 
by which the open fireplace is useful in ventilation. But this arrange- 
ment destroys one element of economy in the German stove, because 
the heat generated, instead of being left to pass slowly off into an un- 
ventilated room, is removed rapidly by the fresh air passed into the 
ward, and has, therefore, to be renewed at intervals, instead of, ac- 
cording to usual custom, the stove being left shut irp for twenty-four 
hours to give off its heat slowly. The larger the supply of warmed 
air, the larger must be the consumption of fuel ; and, if the heat is to 
be supplied economically, it must be through a good conducting me- 
dium ; but the material of the German stove is a bad conductor of 

The old Roman system of warming by means of a fire under the 
floor produced a most agreeable and equable temperature, but it did 
not assist the ventilation, and' it was not economical, in that the floor, 
being of tiles, was of a bad conducting material, and much of the heat 
was absorbed in the ground or surrounding flues. According to Pliny, 
the smoke was carried to the wood-house to be used in drying the 
wood for burning. I recently made an experiment to compare the 
effect of warming by means of a heated floor with the heating effect 
of a ventilating fireplace ; the experiment lasted, with each mode of 
warming, for two days. It showed that, in the case of the warmed 
floors, the room was maintained at a temperature of about 18 above 
the temperature of the outer air with an expenditure of 56 lbs. of coal 
and 112 lbs. of coke, while with the ventilating fireplace the expendi- 
ture was only 75 lbs. of coal; the cost being 35. Ad. for the warmed 
floor as compared with Is. Ad. for the ventilating fireplace. 

A more complete plan of warming a building is by means of a fire 
from which the heat is conveyed, either by hot-water pipes or hot air, 
to the various parts of the building. 

Warming by means of air conveyed by flues to various parts of 
the building, will answer, as a rule, in ordinary existing houses, best in 
connection with open fireplaces, which draw in the warmed air to the 
various rooms, because there must be some means of forcing or draw- 
ing the warmed air into the house, and it would not be convenient to 


keep a steam engine in an ordinary house to pump in the warmed air. 
These open fireplaces would then, however, be wasting the spare heat 
which each fireplace sends up its own chimney; but, on the other 
hand, very much smaller fires would be needed, to keep the rooms 
warm, than when the rooms are not supplied with fresh warmed air. 
Theoretically, however, it can be shown that if we. are prepared to 
give up open fireplaces, and arrange our houses on the plan of having 
flues which would draw off the air from near the floors of our rooms, 
and which would also warm fresh air, heated from a central fire, to be 
constantly admitted near the ceilings, and if the climate were such as 
to make us desire to have the system in continuous operation, such a 
system would probably be by far more economical of fuel than open 
fireplaces, because the fuel used could then be made to do its full duty. 
The variations of our climate and the low price of fuel, which have 
hitherto prevailed, have prevented such systematic arrangements from 
being adopted in this country. 

The plan of carrying the heat from the fire to the air to be warmed 
by means of hot-water pipes affords also a very economical method of 
warming air, because the best-constructed hot-water apparatus will 
enable the full heating value to be got out of the fuel. Fuel may be 
consumed to far greater advantage in a close furnace than in any open 
grate, because the admission of air for the combustion of the fuel can 
be regulated to any required extent. The heating surface of the boiler 
may also be so arranged as to absorb a very large proportion of the 
heat generated by the fire. 

But in deciding on the amount of heat in hot-water pipes which is 
most favorable to economy, the following considerations occur : At 
least twice the quantity of air which is strictly necessary by theory 
passes through the fire in the best-constructed furnaces. In an ordi- 
nary grate this consumption is enormously increased. Each part of 
oxygen supplied by the air and necessary for combustion is accom- 
panied by four parts of nitrogen, which is of no value for combustion. 
Consequently, if twice as much oxygen passes through the fire as is 
strictly necessary, we have one part which combines with carbon and 
produces combustion, and nine parts which, being inert, must act, in 
the first place, to lower the temperature of the fire, and, secondly, to 
carry a larger amount of unutilized heat up the chimney. Moreover, 
when water is heated sufficiently to generate steam, each particle of 
water converted into steam absorbs or makes latent 960 Fahr. of tem- 
perature. In experiments on the evaporation of water, the tempera- 
ture of the gases passing off in the chimney was ascertained to vary 
from 430 to 530, diminishing to 415 at the top of a flue 35 feet high, 
with the dampers open ; and about 380 at the bottom of the flue with 
the dampers closed. With a boiler of which the temperature of the 
water is maintained at 200 without evaporation, the temperature of 
the flue need not exceed from 230 to 240. 


It is clear from these considerations, that, in order to insure the 
maximum effect from the fuel, the heating surface of the pipes should 
be sufficiently large to warm all the air required without its being 
necessary to raise the temperature of the water in the boiler to any 
great extent, and the proportion between the boiler-surface and the 
pipe-surface, that is to say, between the surface which absorbs heat, 
and the surface which gives out heat, should be such as to render it 
unnecessary for the fire to be forced, because, the lower the tempera- 
ture at which the gases from the fire pass off up the chimney, the 
greater will be the economy. 

In order to show the waste which results from forcing the boiler, 
i. e., from passing the gases into the flue at a high as compared with a 
low temperature, I will give an instance of one experiment. The pro- 
portion of heating surface in the boiler to the heating surface of the 
pipes is assumed by some manufacturers as 1 to 100, or, when great 
heat is required, 1 to 40. An experiment made on 4,000 feet of pipe, 
heating certain greenhouses by a wagon-shaped boiler with 40 square 
feet of heating surface, showed that a certain temperature was kept up 
for 8 hours with 8 bushels of coal ; but when, by the addition of an- 
other boiler, the heating surface of the boiler was increased to 80 square 
feet, the temperature could be maintained for the same period with 4 
bushels of coal. The outer temperature was the same on the two days. 

On these grounds it is not so economical, so far as the consumption 
of fuel is concerned, to use steam instead of water, either water heated 
to a high temperature under pressure, or to heat air for warming pur- 
poses, because the gases from the fire employed to produce the higher 
degree of heat will pass off at a high temperature, and the heat they 
contain be wasted. On the other hand, the capital outlay required, 
where highly-heated pipes are used, is smaller than with hot-water 
pipes, because a smaller heating surface, and therefore smaller pipes, 
will suffice when the temperature is high ; and, moreover, a very small 
pipe will convey steam to any required place, whereas with hot water, 
at a relatively low temperature, much larger pipes are required. It 
follows that where the price of fuel makes it necessary to reduce the 
permanent annual expenditure, the original capital outlay must be in- 
creased. There is a further consideration in regard to economy with 
hot-water pipes, steam-heating, and all appliances for warming buildings 
from a central fire, viz., that if the heat has to be conveyed for long 
distances before its useful application comes into force, very much heat 
is lost, and consequently fuel is wasted. On the other hand, against 
the saving which would result from a more immediate application of 
the heat to the place to be warmed, there is to be weighed the dimin- 
ished expense of attendance consequent upon the use of one fire instead 
of several fires, each with its attendance and supply of fuel. There 
remains one source of economy to be applied to close grates used for 
heating water, which has not yet been adopted. I mean the applica- 


tion of some of the heat which is passing into the chimney to warm 
the air which feeds the tire. Theoretical considerations show that an 
advantage of from six to nine per cent, might be obtained from this 
source, and the experiments which I have made bear out this result. 

But, after we have designed the most effective arrangements for 
economizing the fuel which warms our dwellings, if that object is to 
be fully secured, we must arrange to retain the heat in our houses. 
The architect should devote to these considerations the same care 
which he now is frequently satisfied with bestowing upon the beauty 
of the design for a building. The arrangements of the plan should be 
adapted to the retention of heat. All portions of houses exposed to 
the air should be formed of materials which are found to be the slow- 
est conductors of heat. Whatever may have been the mistakes of the 
manufacturers of fire-grates or kitchen-ranges, the nation has latterly 
very much disregarded the means of retaining heat in the house. The 
uniform model house of the speculating builder is constructed with 
thin walls, thin glass windows, ill-fitting casements, and a roof of slates, 
with nothing under them. The old half-timbered house was warm, 
because it had an air space between the inner and outer skin ; the 
brick-built, stone-faced house is warm because it has, so to say, a double 
wall. In modern houses it has long been shown that, without much 
increased expense, the use of walls built hollow will keep the rooms 
effectually warm and dry, and yet this mode of building is the excep- 
tion rather than the rule, possibly because it gives the architect or the 
builder a little additional trouble. A slated roof, if ill-constructed, is 
a material agent in allowing of the escape of heat, because there is 
necessarily an inlet for air where the slates overlap. The old thatched- 
roof, although most dangerous in cases of fire, was a great preserver 
of heat. In well-built modern houses the slates are laid on felt, which 
is laid on close boarding, and this arrangement keeps the house warm 
in winter and cool in summer. As regards the windows, glass ranks 
high as a non-conductor of heat, and the effect of using thick glass, in- 
stead of the very thin glass so often seen, is very largely to economize 
the heat. Evidence of the cooling effect on the air of a room of a win- 
dow of thin glass is afforded by the cold draught which any one per- 
ceives when sitting on a cold day near a closed window of thin glass. 
Proposals have been often made to glaze a window with double panes, 
and no doubt such a plan is a good means of retaining heat in the room, 
but the inside of the glass between the panes will in time become dirty, 
and then it can only be cleansed by removing one of the panes. A 
more convenient, but more expensive, plan is to adopt the system, 
which prevails universally in the northern parts of Europe, of a double 

It is not, however, my object here to give a treatise on building. 
The conclusion which I would draw from these various considerations 
is, that, if we desire to economize to the utmost the daily expenditure 


of fuel, we must increase our outlay of capital. So long as coal was 
cheap, it may have been better worth the while of the individual con- 
sumer to employ coal wastefully rather than spend money upon the 
arrangements for economizing heat. On the other hand, when coal is 
dear, the daily expense from the waste of fuel will induce a capital 
outlay to secure economy of heat. Journal of the Society of Arts. 





I. Nature of the Drift. 

IN the March number of this journal, Mr. Elias Lewis calls atten- 
tion to the occurrence of bowlder-like masses of clay in strati- 
fied gravel, at Brooklyn, N. Y. In the progress of the geological sur- 
vey of Ohio, similar masses of gravelly clay were met with in the 
northwestern portion of the State, lying in the stratified gravel and 
sand that constitute the long ridges which have often been pronounced 
" lake-beaches." These occurrences, and a great many others that 
militate against the popular theory that those ridges are attributable 
to the action of the waters of Lake Erie, and the stratification of the 
drift generally over the "interior continental basin" to the action of 
a wide-spread lake, or of the ocean, made it necessary to reinvestigate 
the drift-deposits thoroughly, for the purpose of deducing from the 
drift itself such a theory of its origin as would stand the application of 
all the facts. Such reexamination has resulted, in the ojfinion of the 
writer, in the confirmation of the glacier theory of Prof. L. Agassiz, and 
the consequent abandonment of the iceberg theory of Peter Dobson. It 
has also shown the baselessness of the assumption of some who would 
extend the Champlain epoch of Prof. J. D. Dana, so as to bring on, 
after the period of the glacier, a submergence of the continent beneath 
the ocean. It is proposed to review, in a non-technical way, the phe- 
nomena of the drift of the Northwest, and to offer a few thoughts on 
the glacier theory, and its application to the explanation of those phe- 

In general, the term drift applies to whatever lies on the surface 
of the rocky framework unconsolidated, whatever be its origin or 
lithological character. Glacial drift is that which has been transport- 
ed by the agency of ice, or by ice and water, from regions farther 
north, and spread over the surface of the country. It may embrace 
bowlders, gravel, and clay. These substances may be arranged in 
stratification, and nicely assorted, or they may be confusedly mixed. 


When stratified and assorted, they have sometimes been denominated 
modified drift ; when not assorted, unmodified drift. But these terms 
require considerable caution in their use, since they have been differ- 
ently applied by different writers, depending somewhat on the sup- 
posed cause of the assortment witnessed in modified drift, and since 
the assorted and non-assorted portions of the drift are not uniform, 
either in their positions in the great mass of the deposit, or in the char- 
acters they generally possess. 

The character and nature of the drift in the Northwest are very 
largely misapprehended. This is true, not only among those who 
might not strictly be regai'ded as geologists such as surveyors, engi- 
neers, lecturers, and public literati but even among those who have 
given considerable attention to the study of fossils and rocks. These 
misapprehensions, so generally spread among the people, are largely 
due to the industry of the authors of certain theories concerning its 
origin, in spreading their views before the public. A plausible theory, 
moreover, has a great influence in its own favor. 

A pretty careful study of the drift in this State, 1 and in others em- 
braced in what may be called the continental basin, east of the Missis- 
sippi, has shown it to consist, in general, of the following parts, in de- 
scending order : 

N~o. 1. Surface Soil. This, of course, presents all the varieties due 
to local influences. Over large portions of the Northwest it is a fertile 
black loam, highly arenaceous, and supplied with a considerable propor- 
tion of carbon in a state of minute subdivision. This arenaceous loam 
passes into a more gravelly loam on the brows of knolls and in rolling 
land. It is also sometimes replaced by a gravelly clay. This is the 
case in large portions of the State of Michigan, and in Central and 
Southern Ohio. This is the fact in Northern Indiana and in Central 
Minnesota. The gravel prevails in wooded and rolling districts. In 
treeless districts the sandy element is more common, making a black 
loam. In valleys and along streams the soil is alluvial. It is invari- 
ably fine, nearly free from stones and bowlders, and very fertile. It is 
what is popularly known as " made land," and comprises those parts 
of the drift of the highlands that are susceptible of transportation by 
running water. That which is known as the " bluff-formation," lining 
the Mississippi, both in Minnesota and in the States farther south, con- 
sists of alluvium, washed into the great valley by innumerable sti-eams 
from the adjoining country, at a time when the volume of the river 
was immensely greater than now. The same materials are now spread 
over the farms of Southern Minnesota, over much of Iowa and Illinois, 
over Northern Missouri and all the Far West, to the Rocky Mountains. 
It lies there also in the form of fine sand, and constitutes the loam 
already described. Its thickness at points remote from the river is 
dependent on the facilities for natural drainage and wash. It may be 

1 Minnesota. 


six inches, or it may be six feet. Along the hanks of the Mississippi 
it presents, not infrequently, perpendicular sections of six hundred 
feet. Its firmness in maintaining its position in such exposed bluffs is 
due to the infiltration of the cements of lime and iron while in the 
process of deposition, or subsequently. It is more largely developed 
along the Missouri than along the Mississippi. There are other places 
where the surface-soil may be peaty, from the preservation of dead 
vegetation. Extensive level tracts, that are submerged a large part 
of the year, may present a peaty soil. Very often also in such peaty 
places there will be found patches of highly-calcareous soil, resulting 
from the accumulation of fresh-water shells, or from the precipitation 
of the carbonate of lime from waters that enter the marsh from lime- 
stone districts. 

But, whatever the character of the surface-soil, it must be borne in 
mind that it is accidental, and is always superinduced by causes that 
have operated since the advent of the drift. Its influence is strictly 
superficial, rarely exceeding three feet below the natural surface. 

No. 2. We come now to consider that which lies below the sur- 
face-soil. If we omit from this enumeration the " blufl-formation," and 
the alluvium of other streams which sometimes has a considerable 
thickness, we shall have two different substances, equally pertaining to 
the drift, and occupying the same relative position in different locali- 
ties, that claim notice : 

1. A clay subsoil. 

2. A gravel or sand subsoil. 

Now, although these are mentioned as appearing first beneath the 
surface-soil, it must not be understood that they appear there invari- 
ably, nor even usually. It is probably true that throughout the greater 
portion of the Northwest they are entirely wanting, and that feature 
of the drift prevails which will next be considered. They are men- 
tioned here because they constitute an essential part of the drift, and 
must not be overlooked in giving its character and composition. 

By the first, here denominated a clay subsoil, is not meant a grav- 
elly clay, or one in which stones are present. It is, rather, a close, 
plastic, fine clay, with little observable sand. It is impervious to 
water, and is benefited by artificial drainage. It prevails in much of 
Southwestern Michigan and Northwestern Ohio. It occupies a large 
tract in Northeastern Illinois and Northwestern Indiana. It also proba- 
bly underlies the Red River flats in Minnesota, and perhaps a belt of 
land rudely conforming to the shore of Lake Superior at its western 
extremity. When shafts are sunk through this clay subsoil, so as to 
reveal its composition and arrangement, it is seen to be handsomely 
laminated horizontally. The individual layers are separated by thin- 
ner layers of fine sand. Those of clay are usually about two inches in 
thickness, but may be no more than one-eighth of an inch ; the layers 
of sand are rarely more than half an inch in thickness, and are apt to 


be less than an eighth. The aggregate thickness of these alternating 
layers of clay and sand is sometimes a hundred feet or more. Let it 
be noticed that these areas of clay subsoil are those in which there is a 
gentle descent, and drainage to the north or northeast into some one 
of the rreat interior lakes of fresh water. The relation this fact bears 
to the origin of this clay subsoil will be considered farther on. 

The gravel or sand subsoil is that which is found in some tracts of 
rolling land where the drift is heavy, and at points more remote from 
the valleys of northward drainage, or in the upper portions of those 
valleys. As a general rule, when present, it will be found on a higher 
level than that in which the subsoil is clay. It pertains to the interior 
country like the central part of the southern peninsula of Michigan, the 
central and southern portions of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and some 
parts of Central and Northern Minnesota. The area and location of this 
kind of subsoil are more irregular and more uncertain than the areas of 
clay subsoil. Such gravel and sand deposits often lie in belts traceable 
for a great many miles, especially where the general surface is smooth, 
and the underlying rock of uniform hardness, the country adjoining be- 
ing, on either side of the belt, one of a clay subsoil, or one formed by 
No. 3. Such belts are sometimes three or four rods wide, or they may 
be much wider, and are rolling and slightly raised above the adjoining 
clay land. Sometimes, instead of lying in belts, such rolling, gravelly 
land is spread out over areas of no definite shape or limit. The sand 
or gravel constituting the subsoil in these rolling tracts is, like the 
clay of the clay subsoil, stratified and assorted. But the layers here 
are rarely horizontal. They show the most various alternation and 
change of dip. No two sections could be taken that would give the 
same succession of parts. The sand sometimes lies in heavy deposits 
fifteen or twenty feet thick, with lines of deposition running in curving 
and vanishing layers in all directions. Sudden transitions occur from 
sand to gravel, or from gravel to bowlders. Sometimes, also, bowlders 
are found embedded in the gravel ; again, nests of bowlders are seen 
isolated from the rest, and packed closely by themselves. There is 
also very often a mingling of gravel and sand, with no clay, without 
stratification, as if the two had been dumped together, after having 
been first thoroughly washed and assorted. Occasionally, also, in this 
stratified gravel and sand, may be seen irregular masses of gravelly 
clay or hard-pan, comparable to those mentioned by Mr. Lewis at 
Brooklyn. Such gravelly clay sometimes embraces stones of consid- 
erable size. Near the bottom of this stratified gravel and sand there 
are also, often, upward protrusions of the underlying member of the 
drift (No. 3), somewhat wedge-shaped or oblique, so as to embrace on 
the lower side a portion of the stratified gravel and sand. Again, the 
Hue of junction between the gravel and sand, and the hai-d-pan of No. 
3, may be marked by an unusual accumulation of coarse drift materi- 
als, such as stones and bowlders. These may be mostly surrounded by 



the gravel and sand of No. 2, or they may be mostly embedded in 
No. 3. The thickness of No. 2 is exceedingly variable. It is usually 
less than forty feet in level tracts, but it may be more than a hundred, 
depending on the duration of the cause that brought it there, and its 
operation at that point. It sometimes probably entirely replaces No. 
3 and No. 4, and lies on the rock. The bowlders found within it are 
generally not scratched, but sometimes they are scratched, evidently 
by glacier-action. A great number of glaciated bowlders in this mem- 
ber of the drift have been seen at an excavation near the Falls of St. 

The following diagrams, Figs. 1 and 2, will express more fully the 
arrangement of the strata in this member of the drift, and give an idea 
of the manner of union with the succeeding member below. Fig. 1 is 
sketched from Nature, and shows a section of the laminated clay ex- 
posed in a railroad-cut near Toledo, Ohio : 

Fig. l. 


Section of the Laminated Clay (Clay Subsoil), Toledo, Ohio, showing its Junction with the 

HAitD-rAN op the Drift. 

a. Horizontal laminations of tine clay and sand. 

b. Oblique laminations of fine clay and sand. 

e. Detached masses of hard-pan clay, variously mingled and united with the laminated clay. 
d. The upper portion of the great hard-pan sheet. 

Fig. 2 is also sketched from Nature, and represents the alterna- 
tion of parts as seen in No. 2, and manner of junction with No. 3 at 
the Falls of St. Anthony. No. 2 here consists of the stratified gravel 
and sand which constitutes the surface of the drift (immediately be- 
low the soil) in large portions of the State of Michigan, Central and 
Southern Ohio, Northern Indiana, and Central Minnesota. It also 
forms the principal component of the well-known ridges in Northwest- 
ern Ohio, popularly but erroneously styled " lake-beaches." The ma- 
terials are usually much water-worn, but, at the Falls of St. Anthony, 
many of the bowlders embraced in No. 2 are conspicuously glacier- 
marked, a circumstance which plainly indicates the agency which 
transported and deposited the whole mass in which they occur. 


JVb. 3. The great deposit that follows No. 2, whether it be of clay 
or of gravel and sand, is that designated in common usage " hard- 
pan." It constitutes the chief member of the drift throughout the 
Northwest. It is rarely found entirely wanting, whereas the foregoing 
are very often wanting. It seems to be the parent member of which 
the former two are offshoots, or modifications. It sometimes has a 
thickness of more than two hundred feet, and rises to the surface form- 
ing the basis of the soil. It consists of a heterogeneous mixture of 
clay and gravel-stones, with bowlders of northern origin. It is nearly 
impervious to water, and occasionally, but rarely, shows a rude ar- 
rangement in alternating bands, as if, in a plastic state, it had been 
folded upon itself. Such arrangement discloses no assortment of the 

Fig. 2. 



-ttXsVv-:-- r- 

Section of the Drift at the Falls of St. Anthony. 

a. " Bluff- formation," alluvial, unstratified, mostly sand 6- 8 feet. 

b. Stratified, fine sand 6-20 do. 

c. Gravel and stones, in isolated pockets, unstratified. 

d. Bowlders and gravel, the former distinctly glaciated. 

e. Hand pan, or " unmodified " drift seen 10 do. 

/. Massive, fine sand. 

g. Rude arrangement within the hard-pan. 
h. Sandy and stony, with rude stratification. 
i. Hid from view by sliding sand. 

materials that can be likened to the assortment seen in No. 2. The 
bowlders embraced in this member of the drift almost invariably show 
glaciated surfaces. Although apt to be more abundant near the bot- 
tom of the deposit, they are not confined to it, as is sometimes stated, 
but occur throughout the whole. This deposit of hard-pan sometimes 
encloses lenticular masses of assorted materials. It has even been seen 
to overlie a considerable thickness of fine stratified sand the extent of 
which could not be ascertained. In general, however, it is one com- 
pact, uniform mass, varying slightly in the proportions of its different 
parts, from State to State, according to the readiness of supply of any 



























' 9 -^ 9-^-j 

* 3j 09t' aS p m 

8lS ~88i <J$ S 


? ^^^J&? 


one of them. For example, in Ohio (Northwestern Ohio) it is very- 
close and clayey, the upper part being free from bowlders and stones. 
In Minnesota (Central Minnesota), the stones and bowlders are more 
generally disseminated throughout the whole, and it shows much more 
sand. Hence, in the latter State it will allow the slow passage of water 
through it a fact exceedingly fortunate for the agricultural capacity 
of the soils that are based on it. 

Perhaps there should be added to this description of the drifts an- 
other member, which may be denominated No. 4. 

No. 4. This, however, is so inconstant and so often runs into the 
last, that it is hardly worthy of special designation. When present, 
it lies below No. 3, and immediately over the rock. It consists of 
gravel and bowlders, more or less mingled with clay. It is the great 
water-reservoir that supplies deep wells, and through it there is a con- 
stant slow drainage into deep valleys and excavations. It gives rise 
to springs at the base of the river-bluffs, and to artesian wells, when 
the confining stratum of hard-pan above is penetrated in regions of 
favorable slope. In Northwestern Ohio is a most wonderful series of 
artesian wells that depend entirely upon this fortunate combination 
of circumstances. This member of the drift sometimes consists largely 
of assorted materials, as sand and gravel. This is indicated by the 
issuing of considerable quantities of such sand from artesian wells 
that penetrate it, when the force of the current of water is sufficient 
to bring it to the surface. Instances have occurred of the collapse of 
the overlying clay and hard-pan, on the removal in this way of large 
quantities of sand. Along the upper side of this member, the mate- 
rials are apt to be firmly cemented by iron and carbonate of lime, into 
a very firm, even rocky crust. Such cemented gravel and sand is sel- 
dom over two feet thick, yet well-borers, on reaching it, often mistake 
it for the bed-rock. They pass through it, and usually find a copious 
flow of excellent water. The announcement is then promulgated that 
that well was drilled through the rock . Hence it is a popular error 
that, in order to obtain water of the purest quality, it is necessary to 
sink a well "through the rock." This member, though, is not always 
found in penetrating the drift to the rock. It may be here stated, 
also, that, when No. 4 is present, the bed-rock does not show so plainly 
the marks of glaciation ; but, when No. 3 extends to the rock, the sur- 
face of the bed-rock is almost invariably marked with the well-known 

Having taken this survey of the component parts of the drift, it 
will be well to bring them into a general view, as illustrated by the 
preceding diagram (Fig. 3), in which the figures represent the same 
members as in the previous illustrations. It shows a general section 
of the drift, from Toledo to Shelby County, Ohio, and is based on ex- 
tended observations, the results of which are to appear in the forth- 
coming reports of the " Geological Survey of Ohio." The six ridges 

VOL. III. 14 


here represented in profile can be traced from 30 to 130 miles, running 
into Indiana. Toward the north, in Michigan, they unite by conver- 
gence, but one or two being visible in that State. Another article will 
treat the interesting question of the origin of the drift. 



Br Prof. JOHN TYNDALL, IX. D., F.K.S. 

IT is one of the disadvantages of reading books about natural 
scenery that they fill the mind with pictures, often exaggerated, 
often distorted, often blurred, and, even when well drawn, injurious to 
the freshness of first impressions. Such has been the fate of most of us 
with regard to the Falls of Niagara. There was little accuracy in the 
estimates of the first observers of the cataract. Startled by an exhi- 
bition of power so novel and so grand, emotion leaped beyond the 
control of the judgment, and gave currency to notions regarding the 
water-fall which have often led to disappointment. 

A record of a voyage in 1535, by a French mariner named Jacques 
Cartier, contains, it is said, the first printed allusion to Niagara. In 
1603 the first map of the district was constructed by a Frenchman 
named Champlain. In 1648 the Jesuit Rageneau, in a letter to his 
superior at Paris, mentions Niagara as " a cataract of frightful height." 2 
In the winter of 1678 and 1679 the cataract was visited by Father 
Hennepin, and described in a book dedicated " to the King of Great 
Britain." He gives a drawing of the water-fall, which shows that 
serious changes have taken place since his time. He describes it as 
" a great and prodigious cadence of water, to which the universe does 
not offer a parallel." The height of the fall, according to Hennepin, 
was more than 600 feet. " The waters," he says, "which fall from 
this great precipice do foam and boil in the most astonishing manner, 
making. a noise more terrible than that of thunder. When the wind 
blows to the south, its frightful .roaring 'may be heard for more than 
fifteen leagues." The Baron la Hontan, who visited Niagara in 1687, 
makes the height 800 feet. In 1721, Charlevoix, in a letter to Madame 
de Maintenon, after referring to the exaggerations of his predecessors, 
thus states the result of his own observations : " For my part, after 
examining it on all sides, I am inclined to think that we cannot allow 
it less than 140 or 150 feet" a remarkably close estimate. At that 
time, viz., a hundred and fifty years ago, it had the shape of a horse- 
shoe, and reasons will subsequently be given for holding that this 

1 A lecture before the Royal Institution, delivered April 4, 1873. 

2 From an interesting little book presented to me at Brooklyn by its author, Mr. 
Holly, some of these data are derived : Hennepin, Kalm, Bakewell, Lyell, and others, I 
have myself consulted. 


has been always the form of the cataract from its origin to its present 

As regards the noise of the cataract, Charlevoix declares the ac- 
counts of his predecessors, which, I may say, are repeated to the pres- 
ent hour, to he altogether extravagant. He is perfectly right. The 
thunders of Niagara are formidable enough to those who really seek 
them at the base of the Horseshoe Fall ; but on the banks of the river, 
and particularly above the fall, its silence, rather than its noise, is 
surprising. This arises, in part, from the lack of resonance, the sur- 
rounding country being flat, and therefore furnishing no echoing sur- 
faces to reenforce the shock of the water. The resonance from the sur- 
rounding rocks causes the Swiss Rouss at the Devil's Bridge, when 
full, to thunder more loudly than the Niagara. 

On Friday, the 1st of November, 1872, just before reaching the 
village of Niagara Falls, I caught, from the railway-train, my first 
glimpse of the smoke of the cataract. Immediately after my arrival, 
I went with a friend to the northern end of the American Fall. It 
may be that my mood at the time toned down the impression pro- 
duced by the first aspect of this grand cascade ; but I felt nothing like 
disappointment, knowing, from old experience, that time and close 
acquaintanceship, the gradual interweaving of mind and Nature, must 
powerfully influence my final estimate of the scene. After dinner we 
crossed to Goat Island, and, turning to the right, reached the southern 
end of the American Fall. The river is here studded with small 
islands. Crossing a wooden bridge to Luna Island, and clasping a 
tree which grows near its edge, I looked long at the cataract, which 
here shoots down the precipice like an avalanche of foam. It grew 
in power and beauty as I gazed upon it. The channel, spanned by 
the wooden bridge, was deep, and the river there doubled over the 
edge of the precipice like the swell of a muscle, unbroken. The ledge 
here overhangs, the water being poured out far beyond the base of the 
precipice. A space, called the Cave of the Winds, is thus enclosed 
between the wall of rock and the cataract. 

Goat Island terminates in a sheer dry precipice, which connects 
the American and the Horseshoe Falls. Midway between both is a 
wooden hut, the residence of the guide to the Cave of the Winds, and 
from the hut a winding staircase, called Biddle's Stair, descends to 
the base of the precipice. On the evening of my arrival I went down 
this stair, and wandered along the bottom of the cliff. One well- 
known factor in the formation and retreat of the cataract was imme- 
diately observed. A thick layer of limestone formed the upper portion 
of the cliff. This rested upon a bed of soft shale, which extended 
round the base of the cataract. The violent recoil of the water against 
this yielding substance crumbles it away, undermining the ledge above, 
which, unsupported, eventually breaks off, aud produces the observed 


At the southern extremity of the Horseshoe is a promontory, 
formed by the doubling back of the gorge, excavated by the cataract, 
and into which it plunges. On the promontory stands a stone build- 
ing, called the Terrapin Tower, the door of which had been nailed up 
because of the decay of the staircase within it. Through the kind- 
ness of Mr. Townsend, the superintendent of Goat Island, the door 
was opened for me. From this tower, at all hours of the day, and at 
some hours of the night, I watched and listened to the Horseshoe 
Fall. The river here is evidently much deeper than the American 
branch; and, instead of bursting into foam where it quits the ledge, 
it bends solidly over and falls in a continuous layer of the most vivid 
green. The tint is not uniform, but varied, long stripes of deeper 
hue alternating with bands of brighter color. Close to the lede;e over 
which the water rolls, foam is generated, the light falling upon which, 
and flashing back from it, is sifted in its passage to and fro, and 
changed from white to emerald green. Heaps of superficial foam are 
also formed at intervals along the ledge, and immediately drawn 
down in long white striae. 1 Lower down, the surface, shaken by the 
reaction from below, incessantly rustles into whiteness. The descent 
finally resolves itself into a rhythm, the water reaching the bottom 
of the fall in periodic gushes. Nor is the spray uniformly diffused 
through the air, but is wafted through it in successive veils of gauze- 
like texture. From all this it is evident that beauty is not absent from 
the Horseshoe Fall, but majesty is its chief attribute. The plunge of 
the water is not wild, but deliberate, vast, and fascinating. From the 
Terrapin Tower, the adjacent arm of the Horseshoe is seen projected 
against the opposite one, midway down ; to the imagination, therefore, 
is left the picturing of the gulf into which the cataract plunges. 

The delight which natural scenery produces in some minds is 
difficult to explain, and the conduct which it prompts can hardly be 
fairly criticised by those who have never experienced it. It seems 
to me a deduction from the completeness of the celebrated Thomas 
Young, that he was unable to appreciate natural scenery. " He had 
really," says Dean Peacock, "no taste for life in the country; he was 
one of those who thought that no one who was able to live in London 
would be content to live elsewhere." Well, Dr. Young, like Dr. 
Johnson, had a right to his delights ; but I can understand a hesita- 
tion to accept them, high as they were, to the exclusion of 

"That o'erflowing joy which Nature yields 
To her true lovers." 

To all who are of this mind, the strengthening of desire on my part 
to see and know Niagara Falls, as far as it is possible for them to be 
seen and known, will be intelligible. 

1 The direction of the wind, with reference to the course of a ship, may be inferred 
with accuracy from the foam-streaks on the surface of the sea. 



On the first evening of my visit, I met, at the head of Biddle's 
Stair, the guide to the Cave of the Winds. He was in the prime of 
manhood large, well built, firm and pleasant in mouth and eye. My 
interest in the seene stirred up his, and made him communicative. 
Turning to a photograph, he described, by reference to it, a feat which 
he had accomplished some time previously, and which had brought 
him almost under the green water of the Horseshoe Fall. " Can vou 
lead me there to-morrow ? " I asked. He eyed me inquiringly, weigh- 
ing, perhaps, the chances of a man of light build and with gray in his 
whiskers in such an undertaking. " I wish," I added, " to see as much 
of the fall as can be seen, and where you lead I will endeavor to fol- 
low." His scrutiny relaxed into a smile, and he said, " Very well ; I 
shall be ready for you to-morrow." 

On the morrow, accordingly, I came. In the hut at the head of 
Biddle's Stair I stripped wholly, and redressed according to instruc- 
tions drawing on two pairs of woollen pantaloons, three woollen 
jackets, two pairs of socks, and a pair of felt shoes. Even if wet, my 
guide urged that the clothes would keep me from being chilled, and 
he was right. A suit and hood of yellow oil-eloth covered all. Most 
laudable precautions were taken by the young assistant of the guide 
to keep the water out, but his devices broke down immediately when 
severely tested. 

We descended the stair; the handle of a pitchfork doing in my 
case the duty of an alpenstock. At the bottom my guide inquired 
whether we should go first to the. Cave of the Winds, or to the Horse- 
shoe, remarking that the latter would try us most. I decided to get 
the roughest done first, and he turned to the left over the stones. 
They were sharp and trying. The base of the first portion of the cat- 
aract is covered with huge bowlders, obviously the ruins of the lime- 
stone ledge above. The Avater does not distribute itself uniformly 
among these, but seeks for itself channels through which it pours tor- 
rentially. We passed some of these with wetted feet, but without dif- 
ficulty. At length we came to the side of a more formidable current. 
My guide walked along its edge until he reached its least turbulent 
portion. Halting, he said, " This is our greatest difficulty ; if we can 
cross here, we shall get far toward the Horseshoe." 

He waded in. It evidently required all his strength to steady him. 
The water rose above his loins, and it foamed still higher. He had to 
search for footing, amid unseen bowlders, against which the torrent 
rose violently. He struggled and swayed, but he struggled success- 
fully, and finally reached the shallower water at the other side. 
Stretching out his arm, he said to me, " Now come on." I looked down 
the torrent as it rushed to the river below, which was seething with 
the tumult of the cataract. De Saussure recommended the inspection 
of Alpine dangers with the view of making them familiar to the eye 
before they are encountered ; and it is a wholesome custom, in places 


of difficulty, to put the possibility of an accident clearly before the 
mind, and to decide beforehand what ought to be done should the ac- 
cident occur. Thus wound up in the present instance, I entered the 
water. Even where it was not more than knee-deep its power was 
manifest. As it rose around me, I sought to split the torrent by pre- 
senting a side to it ; but the insecurity of the footing enabled it to 
grasp the loins, twist me fairly round, and bring its impetus to bear 
upon the back. Further struggle was impossible ; and, feeling my 
balance hopelessly gone, I turned, flung myself toward the bank I had 
just quitted, and was instantly swept into shallower water. 

The oil-cloth covering was a great incumbrance ; it had been made 
for a much stouter man, and, standing upright after my submersion, 
my legs occupied the centres of two bags of water. My guide ex- 
horted me to try again. Prudence was at my elbow, whispering dis- 
suasion ; but, taking every thing into account, it appeared more im- 
moral to retreat than to proceed. Instructed by the first misadven- 
ture, I once more entered the stream. Had the alpenstock been of iron 
it might have helped me ; but, as it was, the tendency of the water to 
sweep it out of my hands rendered it worse than useless. I, however, 
clung to it by habit. Again the torrent rose, and again I wavered ; 
but, by keeping the left hip well against it, I remained upright, and at 
length grasped the hand of my leader at the other side. He laughed 
pleasantly. The first victory was gained, and he enjoyed it. "No 
traveller," he said, " was ever here before." Soon afterward, by trust- 
ing to a piece of drift-wood which seemed firm, I was again taken off 
my feet, but was immediately caught by a protruding rock. 

We clambered over the bowlders toward the thickest spray, which 
soon became so weighty as to cause us to stagger under its shock. 
For the most part nothing could be seen ; we were in the midst of be- 
wildering tumult, lashed by the water, which sounded at times like 
the cracking of innumerable whips. Underneath this was the deep, 
resonant roar of the cataract. I tried to shield my eyes with my 
hands, and look upward ; but the defence was useless. My guide con- 
tinued to move on, but at a certain place he halted, and desired me to 
take shelter in his lee and observe the cataract. The spray did not 
come so much from the upper ledge as from the rebound of the shat- 
tered water when it struck the bottom. Hence the eyes could be pro- 
tected from the blinding shock of the spray, while the line of vision to 
the upper ledges remained to some extent clear. On looking upward 
over the guide's shoulder I could see the water bending over the ledge, 
while the Terrapin Tower loomed fitfully through the intermittent 
spray-gusts. We were right under the tower. A little farther on, the 
cataract, after its first plunge, hit a protuberance some way down, and 
flew from it in a prodigious burst of spray; through this we staggered. 
We rounded the promontory on which the Terrapin Tower stands, and 
pushed, amid the wildest commotion, along the arm of the Horseshoe, 


until the bowlders failed us, and the cataract fell into the profound 
gorge of the Niagara River. 

Here my guide sheltered me again, and desired me to look up ; I 
did so, and could see, as before, the green gleam of the mighty curve 
sweeping over the upper ledge, and the fitful plunge of the w T ater as 
the spray between us and it alternately gathered and disappeared. 
An eminent friend of mine often speaks to me of the mistake of those 
physicians who regard man's ailments as purely chemical, to be met 
by chemical remedies only. He contends for the psychological ele- 
ment of cure. By agreeable emotions, he says, nervous currents are 
liberated which stimulate blood, brain, and viscera. The influence 
rained from ladies' eyes enables my friend to thrive on dishes which 
would kill him if eaten alone. A sanative effect of the same order I 
experienced amid the spray and thunder of Niagara. Quickened by 
the emotions there aroused, the blood sped exultingly through the ar- 
teries, abolishing introspection, clearing the heart of all bitterness, and 
enabling one to think with tolerance, if not with tenderness, on the 
most relentless and unreasonable foe. Apart from its scientific value, 
and purely as a moral agent, the play, I submit, is worth the candle. 
My companion knew no more of me than that I enjoyed the wild- 
ness ; but, as I bent in the shelter of his large frame, he said, " I should 
like to see you attempting to describe all this." He rightly thought it 
indescribable. The name of this gallant fellow was Thomas Conroy. 

We returned, clambering at intervals up and down so as to catch 
glimpses of the most impressive portions of the cataract. We passed 
under ledges formed by tabular masses of limestone, and through some 
curious ojjenings formed by the falling together of the summits of the 
rocks. At length we found oiirselves beside our enemy of the morn- 
ing. My guide halted for a minute or two, scanning the torrent 
thoughtfully. I said that, as a guide, he ought to have a rope in such 
a place ; but he retorted that, as no traveller had ever thought of 
coming there, he did not see the necessity of keeping a rope. He 
waded in. The struggle to keep himself erect was evident enough ; 
he swayed, but recovered himself again and again. At length he 
slipped, gave way, did as I had done, threw himself flat in the water 
toward the bank, and was swept into the shallows. Standing in the 
stream near its edge, he stretched his arm toward me. I retained the 
pitchfork handle, for it had been useful among the bowlders. By wad- 
ing some way in, the staff could be made to reach him, and I proposed 
his seizing it. " If you are sure," he replied, " that, in case of giving 
way, you can maintain your grasp, then I w r ill certainly hold you." I 
waded in, and stretched the staff to my companion. It was firmly 
grasped by both of us. Thus helped, though its onset was strong, I 
moved savely across the torrent. All danger ended here. We after- 
ward roamed sociablv anions: the torrents and bowlders below the 
Cave of the Winds. The rocks were covered with organic slime which 


could not have been walked over with hare feet, hut the felt shoes 
effectually prevented slipping. We reached the cave and entered it, 
first by a wooden way carried over the bowlders, and then along a 
narrow ledge to the point eaten deepest into the shale. When the 
wind is from the south, the falling water, I am told, can be seen tran- 
quilly from this spot ; but, when we were there, a blinding hurricane 
of spray was whirled against us. On the evening of the same day, I 
went behind the water on the Canada side, which, I confess, struck 
me, after the experience of the morning, as an imposture. 

To complete my knowledge it was necessary to see the fall from 
the river below it, and long negotiations were necessary to secure the 
means of doing so. The only boat fit for the undertaking had been 
laid up for the winter ; but this difficulty, through the kind interven- 
tion of Mr. Townsend, was overcome. The main one was, to secure 
oarsmen sufficiently strong and skilful to urge the boat where I wished 
it to be taken. The son of the owner of the boat, a finely-built young 
fellow, but only twenty, and therefore not sufficiently hardened, was 
willing to go ; and up the river I was informed there lived another man 
who could do any thing with the boat which strength and daring 
could accomplish. He came. His figure and expression of face cer- 
tainly indicated extraordinary firmness and power. On Tuesday, the 
5th of November, we started, each of us being clad in oil-cloth. The 
elder oarsman at once assumed a tone of authority over his companion, 
and struck immediately in among the breakers below the American 
Fall. He hugged the cross freshets instead of striking out into the 
smoother w T ater. I asked him why he did so, and he replied that they 
were directed outward not downward. At times, the struggle to pre- 
vent the bow of the boat from being turned by them was very 

The spray was in general blinding, but at times it disappeared, and 
yielded noble views of the fall. The edge of the cataract is crimped 
by indentations which exalt its beauty. Here and there, a little below 
the highest ledge, a secondary one jets out ; the water strikes it, and 
bursts from it in huge, protuberant masses of foam and spray. We 
passed Goat Island, came to the Horseshoe, and worked for a time 
along the base of it, the bowlders over which Conroy and myself had 
scrambled a few days previously lying between us and the base. A 
rock was before us, concealed and revealed at intervals, as the waves 
passed over it. Our leader tried to get above this rock, first on the 
outside of it. The water, however, here was in violent motion. The 
men struggled fiercely, the elder one ringing out an incessant peal of 
command and exhortation to the younger. As we were just clearing 
the rock, the bow came obliquely to the surge; the boat was turned 
suddenly round, and shot with astonishing rapidity down the river. 
The men returned to the charge, now trying to get up between the 


half-concealed rock and the bowlders to the left. But the torrent set 
in strongly through this channel. The tugging was quick and vio- 
lent, but we made little way. At length seizing a rope, the principal 
oarsman made a desperate attempt to get upon one of the bowlders, 
hoping to be able to drag the boat through the channel ; but it bumped 
so violently against the rock, that the man flung himself back, and re- 
linquished the attempt. 

We returned along the base of the American Fall, running in and 
out among the currents which rushed from it laterally into the river. 
Seen from below, the American Fall is certainly exquisitely beautiful, 
but it is a mere frill of adornment to its nobler neighbor the Horse- 
shoe. At times wc took to the river, from the centre of which the 
Horseshoe Fall appeared especially magnificent. A streak of cloud 
across the neck of Mont Blanc can double its apparent height, so here, 
the green summit of the cataract shining above the smoke of the spray 
appeared lifted to an extraordinary elevation. Had Hennepin and 
La Hontan seen the fall from this position, their estimates of the height 
would have been perfectly excusable. 

From a point a little way below the American Fall, a ferry crosses 
the river in summer to the Canadian side. Below the ferry is a sus- 
pension bridge for carriages and foot-passengers, and a mile or two 
lower down is the railway suspension bridge. Between the ferry and 
the latter the river Niagara flows unruffled; but at the suspension 
bridge the bed steepens and the river quickens its motion. Lower 
down the gorge narrows, and the rapidity and turbulence increase. 
At the place called the " Whirlpool Rapids " I estimated the width of 
the river at 300 feet, an estimate confirmed by the dwellers on the 
spot. When it is remembered that the drainage of nearly half a con- 
tinent is compressed into this space, the impetuosity of the river's es- 
cape through this gorge may be imagined. Had it not been for Mr. 
Bierstiidt, the distinguished photographer of Niagara, I should have 
quitted the place without seeing these rapids ; for this, and for his 
agreeable company to the spot, I have to thank him. From the edge 
of the cliff above the rapids, we descended, a little I confess to a 
climber's disgust, in an " elevator," because the effects are best seen 
from the water-level. 

Two kinds of motion are here obviously active, a motion of trans- 
lation, and a motion of undulation the race of the river through its 
gorge, and the great waves generated by its collision with, and re- 
bound from, the obstacles in its way. In the middle of the river the 
rush and tossing are most violent ; at all events, the impetuous force 
of the individual waves is here most strikingly displayed. Vast 
pyramidal heaps leap incessantly from the river, some of them with 
such energy as to jerk their summits into the air, where they hang sus- 
pended as bundles of liquid spherules. The sun shone for a few miu- 


utes. At times, the wind, coming up the river, searched and sifted the 
spray, carrying away the lighter drops, and leaving the heavier ones 
behind. Wafted in the proper direction, rainbows appeared and dis- 
appeared fitfully in the lighter mist. In other directions the common 
gleam of the sunshine from the waves and their shattered crests was 
exquisitely beautiful. The complexity of the action was still further 
illustrated by the fact that in some cases, as if by the exercise of a 
local explosive force, the drops were shot radially from a particular 
centre, forming around it a kind of halo. 

The first impression, and, indeed, the current explanation of these 
rapids is, that the central bed of the river is cumbered with large 
bowlders, and that the jostling, tossing, and wild leaping of the water 
there are due to its impact against these obstacles. This may be true 
to some extent, but there is another reason to be taken into account. 
Bowlders derived from the adjacent cliffs visibly cumber the sides of 
the river. Against these the water rises and sinks rhythmically but 
violently, large waves being thus produced. On the generation of 
each wave there is an immediate compounding of the wave-motion 
with the river-motion. The ridges, which in still water would proceed 
in circular curves round the centre of disturbance, cross the river ob- 
liquely, and the result is that, at the centre, waves commingle which 
have really been generated at the sides. In the first instance we had a 
composition of wave-motion with river-motion ; here we have the coa- 
lescence of waves with waves. Where crest and furrow cross each 
other, the motion is annulled ; where furrow and furrow cross, the 
river is ploughed to a greater depth ; and, where crest and crest aid 
each other, we have that astonishing leap of the water which breaks 
the cohesion of the crests, and tosses them shattered into the air. 
From the water-level the cause of the action is not so easily seen ; but 
from the summit of the cliff the lateral generation of the waves and 
their propagation to the centre are perfectly obvious. If this explana- 
tion be correct, the phenomena observed at the Whirlpool Rapids 
form one of the grandest illustrations of the principle of interference. 
The Nile " cataract," Mr. Huxley informs me, offers examples of the 
same action. 

At some distance below the Whirlpool Rapids we have the cele- 
brated whirlpool itself. Here the river makes a sudden bend to the 
northeast, forming nearly a right angle with its previous direction. 
The water strikes the concave bank with great force, and scoops it 
incessantly away. A vast basin has been thus formed, in which the 
sweep of the river prolongs itself in gyratory currents. Bodies and 
trees which have come over the falls are stated to circulate here for 
days without finding the outlet. From various points of the cliffs 
above, this is curiously hidden. The rush of the river into the whirl- 
pool is obvious enough ; and, though you imagine the outlet must be 
visible, if one existed, you cannot find it. Turning, however, round 


the bend of the precipice to the northeast, the outlet comes into 

The Niagara season had ended ; the chatter of sight-seers had 
ceased, and the scene presented itself as one of holy seclusion and 
beauty. I went down to the river's edge, where the weird loneliness 
and loveliness seemed to increase. The basin is enclosed by high and 
almost precipitous banks covered, when I was there, with russet 
woods. A kind of mystery attaches itself to gyrating water, due per- 
haps to the fact that we ai*e to some extent ignorant of the direction 
of its force. It is said that at certain points of the whirlpool pine- 
trees are sucked down, to be ejected mysteriously elsewhere. The 
water is of the brightest emerald-green. The gorge through which it 
escapes is narrow, and the motion of the river swift though silent. 
The surface is steeply inclined, but it is perfectly unbroken. There are 
no lateral waves, no ripples with their breaking bubbles to raise a 
murmur; while the depth is here too great to allow the inequality of 
the bed to ruffle the surface. Nothing can be more beautiful than this 
sloping, liquid mirror formed by the Niagara in sliding from the 

The green color is, I think, correctly accounted for in the " Hours 
of Exercise in the Alps." In crossing the Atlantic I had frequent op- 
portunities of testing the explanation there given. Looked properly 
down upon, there are portions of the ocean to which we should hardly 
ascribe a trace of blue ; at the most a hint of indigo reaches the eye. 
The water, indeed, is practically blach, and this is an indication both 
of its depth and its freedom from mechanically-suspended matter. In 
small thicknesses water is sensibly transparent to all kinds of light ; 
but, as the thickness increases, the rays of low refrangibility are first 
absorbed, and after them the other rays. Where, therefore, the water 
is very deep and very pure, all the colors are absorbed, and such water 
ought to appear black, as no light is sent from its interior to the eye. 
The approximation of the Atlantic Ocean to this condition is an indi- 
cation of its extreme purity. 

Throw a white pebble into such water; as it sinks it becomes 
greener and greener, and, before it disappears, it reaches a vivid blue- 
green. Break such a pebble into fragments, each of these will behave 
like the unbroken mass ; grind the pebble to powder, every particle 
will yield its modicum of green ; and, if the particles be so fine as to 
remain suspended in the water, the scattered light will be a uniform 
green. Hence the greenness of shoal water. You go to bed with the 
black Atlantic around you. You rise in the morning and find it a 
vivid green ; and you correctly infer that you are crossing the bank 
of Newfoundland. Such water is found charged with fine matter in a 
state of mechanical suspension. The light from the bottom may some- 
times come into play, but it is not necessary. A storm can render the 


water muddy by rendering the particles too numerous and gross. Such 
a case occurred toward the close of my visit to Niagara. There had 
been rain and storm in the upper-lake regions, and the quantity of sus- 
pended matter brought down quite extinguished the fascinating green 
of the Horseshoe. 

Nothing can be more superb than the green of the Atlantic waves 
when the circumstances are favorable to the exhibition of the color. 
As long as a wave remains unbroken, no color appears, but, when the 
foam just doubles over the crest like an Alpine snow-cornice, under 
the cornice we often see a display of the most exquisite green. It is 
metallic in its brilliancy. But the foam is necessary to its production. 
The foam is first illuminated, and it scatters the light in all directions ; 
the light which passes through the higher portion of the wave alone 
reaches the eye, and gives to that portion its matchless color. The 
folding of the wave, producing, as it does, a series of longitudinal pro- 
tuberances and furrows, which act like cylindrical lenses, introduces 
variations in the intensity of the light, and materially enhances its 

We have now to consider the genesis and proximate destiny of 
the Falls of Niagara. "We may open our way to this subject by a few 
preliminary remarks upon erosion. Time and intensity are the main 
factors of geologic change, and they are in a certain sense convertible. 
A feeble force, acting through long periods, and an intense force, act- 
ing through short ones, may produce, approximately, the same results. 
Here, for example, are some stones kindly lent to me by Dr. Hooker. 
The first examples of the kind were picked up by Mr. Hackworth on 
the shores of Lyell's Bay, near Wellington, in New Zealand, and de- 
scribed by Mr. Travers in the Transactions of the New Zealand Insti- 
tute. Unacquainted with their origin, you would certainly ascribe 
their forms to human workmanship. They resemble flint knives and 
spear-heads, being apparently chiselled off" into facets with as much 
attention to symmetry as if a tool guided by human intelligence had 
passed over them. But no human instrument has been brought to 
bear upon these stones. They have been wrought into their present 
shape by the wind-blown sand of Lyell's Bay. Two winds are domi- 
nant here, and they in succession urged the sand against opposite 
sides of the stone ; every little particle of sand clipped away its infini- 
tesimal bit of stone, and in the end sculptured these singular forms. 1 

1 " These stones, which have a strong resemblance to works of human art, occur in 
great abundance, and of various sizes, from half an inch to several inches in length. A 
large number were exhibited, showing the various forms, which are those of wedges, 
knives, arrow-heads, etc., and all with sharp cutting edges. 

" Mr. Travers explained that, notwithstanding their artificial appearance, these stones 
were formed by the cutting action of the wind-driven sand, as it passed to and fro over 
an exposed bowlder-bank. He gave a minute account of the manner in which the varie- 


You know that the Sphinx of Egypt is nearly covered up by the 
sand of the desert. The neck of the Sphinx is partly cut across, not, 
as I am assured by Mr. Huxley, by ordinary weathering, but by the 
eroding action of the fine sand blown against it. In these cases Na- 
ture furnishes us with hints which may be taken advantage of in art ; 
and this action of sand has been recently turned to extraordinary ac- 
count in the United States. When in Boston, I was taken by Mr. Jo- 
siah Quincy to see the action of the sand-blast. A kind of hopper 
containing fine silicious sand was connected with a reservoir of com- 
pressed air, the pressure being variable at pleasure. The hopper ended 
in a long slit, from which the sand was blown. A plate of glass was 
placed beneath this slit, and caused to pass slowly under it ; it came 
out perfectly depolished, with a bright opalescent glimmer, such as 
could only be produced by the most careful grinding. Every little 
particle of sand urged against the glass, having all its energy con- 
centrated on the point of impact, formed there a little pit, the depol- 
ished surface consisting of innumerable hollows of this description. 
But this was not all. By protecting certain portions of the surface, 
and exposing others, figures and tracery of any required form could 
be etched upon the glass. The figures of open iron-work could be 
thus copied, while wire gauze placed over the glass produced a reticu- 
lated pattern. But it required no such resisting substance as iron 
to shelter the glass. The patterns of the finest lace could be thus re- 
produced, the delicate filaments of the lace itself offering a sufficient 

All these effects have been obtained with a simple model of the 
sand-hlast devised for me by my assistant. A fraction of a minute 
suffices to etch upon glass a rich and beautiful lace pattern. Any 
yielding substance may be employed to protect the glass. By imme- 
diately diffusing the shock of the particle, such substances practically 
destroy the local erosive power. The hand can bear without incon- 
venience a sand-shower which would pulverize glass. Etchings exe- 
cuted on glass, with suitable kinds of ink, are accurately worked out 
by the sand-blast. In fact, within certain limits, the harder the sur- 
face, the greater is the concentration of the shock, and the more 
effectual is the erosion. It is not necessary that the sand should be 
the harder substance of the two ; corundum, for example, is much 
harder than quartz ; still, quartz-sand can not only depolish, but act 
ually blow a hole through a plate of corundum. Nay, glass may be 

ties of form are produced, and referred to the effect which the erosive action thus indi- 
cated would hare on railway and other works executed on sandy tracts. 

" Dr. Hector stated that, although, as a group, the specimens on the table could not 
well be mistaken for artificial productions, still the forms are so peculiar, and the edges, 
in a few of them, so perfect, that, if they were discovered associated with human works, 
there is no doubt that they would have been referred to the so-called ' stone period.' " 
Extracted from the Minutes of the Wellington Philosophical Society, February 9, 18C9. 


depolished by the impact of fine shot ; the lead in this case bruising 
the glass before it has time to flatten and turn its energy into heat. 

And here, in passing, we may tie together one or two apparently 
unrelated facts. Supposing you turn on, at the lower part of this 
house, a cock which is fed by a pipe from a cistern at the top of the 
house, the column of water, from the cistern downward, is set in mo- 
tion. By turning otf the cock, this motion is stopped ; and, when the 
turning off is very sudden, the pipe, if not strong, may be burst by 
the internal impact of the water. By distributing the turning of the 
cock over half a second of time, the shock and danger of rupture may 
be entirely avoided. "We have here an example of the concentration 
of energy in time. The sand-blast illustrates the concentration of en- 
ergy in space. The action of flint and steel is an illustration of the 
same principle. The heat required to generate the spark is intense, 
and the mechanical action, being moderate, must, to produce fire, be in 
the highest degree concentrated. This concentration is secured by 
the collision of hard substances. Calc-spar will not supply the place 
of flint, nor lead the place of steel, in the production of fire by collision. 
With the softer substances, the total heat produced may be greater 
than with the hard ones, but, to produce the spark, the heat must be 
intensely localized. 

But we can go far beyond the mere depolishing of glass ; indeed, 
I have already said that quartz-sand can wear a hole through corun- 
dum. This leads me to express my acknowledgments to General 
Tilghman, 1 who is the inventor of the sand-blast. To his sponta- 
neous kindness I am indebted for these beautiful illustrations of his 
process. In this plate of glass you find a figure worked out to a 
depth of f- of an inch. Here is a second plate & of an inch thick, en- 
tirely perforated. Here, again, is a circular plate of marble, nearly 
half an inch thick, through which open-work of the most intricate and 
elaborate description has been executed. It would probably take 
many days to perform this work by any ordinary process ; with the 
sand-blast it was accomplished in an hour. So much for the strength 
of the blast ; its delicacy is illustrated by this beautiful example of 
line-engraving, etched on glass by means of the blast. 

This power of erosion, so strikingly displayed when sand is urged 
by air, will render you better able to conceive its action when urged 
by water. The erosive power of a river is vastly augmented by the 
solid matter carried along with it. Sand or pebbles caught in a river- 

1 The absorbent power, if I may use the phrase, exerted by the industrial arts in the 
United States, is forcibly illustrated by the rapid transfer of men like Mr. Tilghman from 
the life of the soldier to that of the civilian. General McClellan, now a civil engineer, 
whom I had the honor of frequently meeting in New York, is a most eminent example 
of the same kind. At the end of the war, indeed, a million and a half of men were thus 
drawn, in an astonishingly short time, from military to civil life. It is obvious that a na- 
tion with these tendencies can have no desire for war. 


vortex can wear away the hardest rock ; " pot-holes " and deep cylin- 
drical shafts being thus produced. An extraordinary instance of this 
kind of erosion is to he seen in the Val Tournanche, above the village 
of this name. The gorge at Handeck has been thus cat out. Such 
water-falls were once frequent in the valleys of Switzerland ; for hardly 
any valley is without one or more transverse barriers of resisting ma- 
terial, over which the river flowing through the valley once fell as a 
cataract. Near Pontresina, in the Engadine, there is such a case, the 
hard gneiss being now worn away to form a gorge through which the 
river from the Morteratsch Glacier rushes. The barrier of the Kirchet, 
above Meyringen, is also a case in point. Behind it was a lake, de- 
rived from the glacier of the Aar, and over the barrier the lake poured 
its excess of water. Here the rock, being limestone, was in great part 
dissolved, but, added to this, we had the action of the solid particles 
carried along by the water, each of which, as it struck the rock, 
chipped it away like the particles of the sand-blast. Thus, by solution 
and mechanical erosion, the great chasm of the Fensteraarschlucht was 
formed. It is demonstrable that the water which flows at the bottoms 
of such deep fissures once flowed at the level of what is now their 
edges, and tumbled down the lower faces of the barriers. Almost 
every valley in Switzerland furnishes examples of this kind ; the un- 
tenable hypothesis of earthquakes, once so readily resorted to in ac- 
counting for these gorges, being now, for the most part, abandoned. 
To produce the canons of Western America, no other cause is needed 
than the integration of effects individually infinitesimal. 

And now we come to Niagara. Soon after Europeans had taken 
possession of the country, the conviction appears to have arisen that 
the deep channel of the river Niagara below the Falls had been exca- 
vated by the cataract. In Mr. BakewelPs " Introduction to Geology," 
the prevalence of this belief has been referred to : it is expressed thus 
by Prof. Joseph Henry in the Transactions of the Albany Insti- 
tute : " In viewing the position of the Falls, and the features of the 
country round, it is impossible not to be impressed with the idea that 
this great natural race-way has been formed by the continued action 
of the irresistible Niagara, and that the Falls, beginning at Lewiston, 
have, in the course of ages, worn back the rocky strata to their pres- 
ent site." * The same view is advocated by Mr. Hall, by Sir Charles 
Lyell, by M. Agassiz, by Prof. Ramsay indeed, by almost all of those 
who have inspected the place. 

A connected image of the origin and progress of the fall is easily 
obtained. Walking northward from the village of Niagara Falls by 
the side of the river, we have, to our left, the deep and comparatively 
narrow gorge through which the Niagara flows. The bounding cliffs 
of this gorge are from 300 to 350 feet high. We reach the whirlpool, 
trend to the northeast, and, after a little time, gradually resume our 

1 Quoted by Bakewell. 


northward course. Finally, at about seven miles from the present 
Falls, we come to the edge of a declivity which informs us that we 
have been hitherto Avalking on table-land. At some hundreds of feet 
below us is a comparatively level plain, which stretches to Lake On- 
tario. The declivity marks the end of the precipitous gorge of the 
Niagara. Here the river escapes from its steep, mural boundaries, 
and, in a widened bed, pursues its way to the lake, which finally re- 
ceives its waters. 

The fact that, in historic times, even within the memory of man, 
the fall has sensibly receded, prompts the qitestion, How far has this 
recession gone ? At what point did the ledge which thus continually 
creeps backward begin its retrograde course ? To minds disciplined 
in such researches the answer has been, and will be, at the precipitous 
declivity which crossed the Niagara from Lewiston, on the American, 
to Queenstown, on the Canadian side. Over this transverse barrier the 
united affluents of all the upper lakes once poured their waters, and 
here the work of erosion began. The dam, moreover, was demon- 
strably of sufficient height to cause the river above it to submerge 
Goat Island ; and this would perfectly account for the finding by Mr. 
Hall, Sir Charles Lyell, and others, in the sand and gravel of the isl- 
and, the same fluviatile shells as are now found in the Niagara River 
higher up. It would also account for those deposits along the sides 
of the river, the discovery of which enabled Lyell, Hall, and Ramsay, 
to reduce to demonstration the popular belief that the Niagara once 
flowed through a shallow valley. 

The physics of the problem of excavation, which I made clear to 
my mind before quitting Niagara, are revealed by a close inspection 
of the present Horseshoe Fall. Here we see evidently that the great- 
est weight of water bends over the very apex of the Horseshoe. In a 
passage in his excellent chapter on Niagara Falls, Mr. Hall alludes to 
this fact. Here we have the most copious and the most violent whirl- 
ing of the shattered liquid ; here the most powerful eddies recoil 
against the shale. From this portion of the fall, indeed, the spray 
sometimes rises, without solution of continuity, to the region of clouds, 
becoming gradually more attenuated, and passing finally through the 
condition of true cloud into invisible vapor, which is sometimes repre- 
cipitated higher up. All the phenomena point distinctly to the centre 
of the river as the place of greatest mechanical energy, and from the 
centre the vigor of the fall gradually dies away toward the sides. The 
horseshoe form, with the concavity facing downward, is an obvious 
and necessary consequence of this action. Right along the middle of 
the river the apex of the curve pushes its way backward, cutting along 
the centre a deep and comparatively narrow groove, and draining the 
sides as it passes them. 1 Hence the remarkable discrepancy between 
the widths of the Niagara above and below the Horseshoe. All along 
1 In the discourse this action was illustrated by a model. 



its course, from Lewiston Heights to its present position, the form of 
the fall was probably that of a horseshoe ; for this is merely the expres- 
sion of the greater depth, and consequently greater excavating power, 
of the centre of the river. The gorge, moreover, varies in width as 
the depth of the centre of the ancient river varied, being narrowest 
where that depth was greatest. 

The vast comparative erosive energy of the Horseshoe Fall comes 
strikingly into view when it and the American Fall are compared to- 
gether. The American branch of the upper river is cut at a right 
angle by the gorge of the Niagara. Here the Horseshoe Fall was the 
real excavator. It cut the rock, and formed the precipice over which 
the American Fall tumbles. But, since its formation, the erosive action 
of the American Fall has been almost nil, while the Horseshoe has cut 
its way for 500 yards across the end of Goat Island, and is now doub- 
ling back to excavate a channel parallel to the length of the island. 
This point, I have just learned, has not escaped the acute observation 
of Prof. Ramsay. 1 The river above the fall bends, and the Horse- 
shoe immediately accommodates itself to the bending, following im- 
plicitly the direction of the deepest water in the upper stream. The 
flexibility of the gorge, if I may use the term, is determined by the 
flexibility of the river-channel above it. Were the Niagara above the 
fall far more sinuous than it is, the gorge would obediently follow its 
sinuosities. Once suggested, no doubt geographers will be able to 
point out many examples of this action. The Zambesi is thought to 
present a great difficulty to the erosion theory, because of the sinuosity 
of the chasm below the Victoria Falls. But, had the river been ex- 
amined before the formation of this sinuous channel, the present zigzag 
course of the gorge below the fall could, I am persuaded, have been 
predicted, while the sounding of the present river would enable us to 
predict the course to be pursued by the erosion in the future. 

But, not only has the Niagara River cut the gorge, it has carried 
away the chips of its own workshop. The shale being probably crum- 
bled, is easily carried away. But at the base of the fall we find the 
huge bowlders already described, and by some means or other these 
are removed down the river. The ice which fills the gorge in winter, 
and which grapples with the bowlders, has been regarded as the trans- 
porting agent. Probably it is so to some extent. But erosion acts 
without ceasing on the abutting points of the bowlders, thus with- 
drawing their support, and urging them gradually down the river. 
Solution also does its portion of the work. That solid matter is car- 
ried down is proved by the difference of depth between the Niagara 
River and Lake Ontario, where the river enters it. The depth falls 

1 His words are : " Where the body of water is small in the American Fall, the edge 
has only receded a few yards (where most eroded) during the time that the Canadian Fall 
has receded from the north corner of Goat Island to the innermost curve of the Horse- 
shoe Fall." Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, May, 1859. 
vol. in. 15 


from 12 feet to 20 feet, in consequence of the deposition of solid mat- 
ter caused by the diminished motion of the river. 1 

In conclusion, we may say a word regarding the proximate future 
of Niagara. At the date of excavation assigned to it by Sir Charles 
Lyell, namely, a foot a year, five thousand years will carry the Horse- 
shoe Fall far higher than Goat Island. As the gorge recedes, it will 
drain, as it has hitherto done, the banks right and left of it, thus leav- 
ing a nearly level terrace between Goat Island and the edge of the 
gorge. Higher up it will totally drain the American branch of the 
river, the channel of which in due time will become cultivable land. 
The American Fall will then be transformed into a dry precipice, form- 
ing a simple continuation of the cliffy boundary of the Niagara. At 
the place occupied by the fall at this moment we shall have the gorge 
enclosing a right angle, a second whirlpool being the consequence of 
this. To those who visit Niagara five millenniums hence, I leave the 
verification of this prediction ; for my own part, I have a profound 
persuasion that it will prove literally true. 





A STRENUOUS effort is being made at the present time to reor- 
ganize the Geological Survey of Pennsylvania. It promises to 
be successful. The legislators of that State, in voting upon the measure, 
will be mainly influenced by considerations relating to the pecuniary 
value of a geological survey in locating beds of coal, building-mate- 
rials, and ores. But the educated public will desire to know, in addi- 
tion to these matters, what influence such a geological survey will 
have upon the intellectual activity of the community at large, and how 
great an amount of scientific bustle it will create in the museums and 
laboratories of institutions of learning. 

A very satisfactory answer can be given to the first of these 
queries, after reviewing the scientific periodicals and journals of 
learned societies in this country, during the last half-century. It will 
be seen that the desultory descriptions of plants, birds, and the ex- 
ternal characters of minerals, which constituted a large portion of the 
scientific literature at the beginning of this period, gave place to 
laborious analyses, and to elaborate articles on geological phenomena. 
Many of the most valuable contributions to science during this epoch 
consisted in reports of the geological surveys then in progress, or in- 

1 Near the mouth of the gorge at Queenstown, the depth, according to the Admiralty 
Chart, is 180 feet ; well within the gorge it is 132 feet. 


vestigations connected with and growing out of them. Much of the 
best talent of the time was engaged upon these stupendous labors, and 
around the eminent chiefs were gathered bands of enterprising stu- 
dents, whose methods of scientific work were formed beneath the eyes 
of masters. The assistants of earlier surveys are the directors of those 
now in progress, and the crude sketches of former times are replaced 
by huge volumes filled with exhaustive details and magnificent gen- 

Great as has been the work accomplished, the question may never- 
theless be asked, whether the State geological surveys are, or have 
been, organized in such a manner as to exert the greatest possible in- 
fluence upon the scientific progress of their respective States. As here- 
tofore constituted, they have consisted of a director and a number of 
assistants, who have drawn their salaries and prosecuted their labors 
until the State appropriations have been exhausted. In some instances 
the work of the assistants has been appropriated by the director in 
such a manner that the geological survey has appeared to the public 
to be entirely represented in the person of its presiding officer. Grant- 
ing that this officer is better qualified than any one else, it is evident, 
nevertheless, that a geological bureau, thus constituted, must reject a 
large part of the available talent of a State. Still worse, by taking 
possession of the field, and by closing the columns of the report to all 
but the paid officials of the survey, many whose labors might be of 
great value are rendered indifferent or hostile to the work. A bureau 
framed in the manner above described is proper enough in the survey 
of Territories still largely occupied by Indians, but it is by no means 
suited to the condition or needs of a densely-populated State. When 
a dozen flourishing colleges exist within the boundaries of a State, is 
it well that a general geological survey should be made in such a 
manner as to apportion little if any of its work specifically to them? 
A survey so constituted tends to encourage a disposition, unfortunately 
only too prevalent among our collegiate professors, to regard their 
entire duty as performed when the labor of teaching is accomplished. 
A few days ago an eminent civil engineer, who in his moments of lei- 
sure has collected one of the finest cabinets of minerals in this country 
and has made himself a practised mineralogist, complained that, after 
twenty years of disappointments, he had grown wearied of sending 
doubtful specimens to professors in colleges for determination, and 
of receiving no answers after the lapse of many months. As a final 
resort, he has determined new species himself, and had the chemical 
analysis performed by a hard-worked chemist in a manufacturing 
establishment. A large part of the work of a geological survey should 
be assigned to the colleges in a State, and should be voluntarily per- 
formed by their professors. Every State from Maine to Florida should 
be divided up into collegiate districts, the scientific development of 
which should be more immediately under the care of the particular 


college in the midst of each. There is no reason why a system of joint 
effort, which from time immemorial has accomplished such wonderful 
things for religion and social order, should not be equally efficacious in 
scientific matters. A feeling of honorable pride should induce the of- 
ficers and students of each institution to illustrate the flora and fauna, 
the mineralogy and geology of its collegiate district, more perfectly 
than any stranger could. The amount of intellectual labor Avhich is 
utilized, and the number of valuable data collected each year, form 
but a small proportion of what is annually lost to the community 
through lack of organized effort. In a tersely-written letter to the 
Governor of Pennsylvania, urging the need of a new survey, Prof. 
Lesley says : " A most important function of a geological survey is, to 
preserve knowledge for future use. Science is cumulative. It makes 
slow and painful advances. It is obliged to collect an abundance of 
facts before it comes to true conclusions. Pennsylvania has lost enor- 
mously during the last twenty years by having no bureau of statistics, 
no corps of observation and publication, to observe and preserve, col- 
late and relate, the facts of its geology and mineralogy, as they have 
successively made their appearance. No commonwealth can afford to 
be without such an apparatus for preserving from loss and forgetful- 
ness the discoveries and investigations of private persons, even for one 
single year of its existence. Thousands of most valuable facts have 
been lost to us, during an interval, which cannot be recovered. How 
many openings on coal-veins are now covered up, no one being able to 
give any reliable information about them. Twenty thousand oil- 
borings have been made, and not one hundred of them are on record, 
if discoverable. Hundreds of gangways have been driven and aban- 
doned, and cannot now be studied, many of which woidd disclose the 
nature of faults and disturbances which affect neighboring properties, 
and overlying and underlying beds not yet worked, where certain 
knowledge is preserved to govern the future mining-engineer in his 
plans for getting at the mineral. He must work as completely in the 
dark as if his knowledge had never been got, and often paid for at a 
ruinous expense. The sooner a geological survey is established, the 
better for the future interests of the State, as well as for its present 
necessities." At the height of the oil-fever in Pennsylvania, appreciat- 
ing the wonderful opportunity which the sinking of innumerable wells 
afforded for obtaining complete geological sections of a vast area, I 
spent a long time in endeavoring to obtain from the superintendents 
engaged in boring, by personally visiting hundreds of wells in succes- 
sion, the records of their work, and specimens of the penetrated strata. 
Printed circulars, asking for copies of such records in the interests of 
science, were sent to the secretary of every oil-company within our 
knowledge. Partly from the disgusting greed which possessed the 
oil-speculators to the exclusion of every higher feeling, and partly 
from an insane dread that the possession of such knowledge would be- 


stow an infallible talisman for striking oil, these attempts were in but 
half a dozen instances successful. Is it wonderful that such crass 
ignorance should have entailed ruin upon thousands ? Nothing but 
the publication of exhaustive geological reports, continued year after 
year, and printed both in full and summarized into short popular 
forms, can save the community at large from the repetition of similar 
follies. One single mining-fever costs the State more than all the ap- 
propriations needed to discover and universally diffuse the truths of 
geology. The ignorance spoken of above finds a parallel only in the 
methods which were pursued in treating the crude petroleum after it 
had been sent to market. The director of the principal chemical man- 
ufactory in Western Pennsylvania informed the writer that they first 
attempted to refine crude petroleum by throwing hundreds of pounds 
of bergamot and other perfumes into it, to take away the smell. If 
the reader says that this story is incredible, I can only repeat, " Yes, 
it is incredible." 

It may be urged that few men are placed in such positions, or pro- 
vided with such appliances, or possessed of sufficient leisure, to con- 
tribute any thing of value to the general stock of geological knowl- 
edge. But there are hundreds who would shrink from publishing a 
lengthy article or reading a paper before a learned body, and yet are 
acute reasoners and accurate observers, and whose abilities could be 
made available by a good system of collecting and collating their frag- 
mentary labors. I have met many school-teachers and pastors in 
Switzerland whose parochial duties confined them to obscure valleys 
among the mountains, and who still had found time to collect the fos- 
sils, plants, and minerals, of their poverty-stricken hamlets, and to 
make careful maps of the rock-strata. They did so for two reasons : 
In the first place, the topographical map of General Dufour, on a scale 
of 1 to 100,000, previously accomplished by national aid, rendered it 
possible for them to locate their observations of strata, etc., with pre- 
cision ; and, secondly, because their contributions were utilized by the 
professors at Zurich, Bern, Geneva, and elsewhere, and incorporated 
in their published geological reports. A State survey, so organized as 
to make every intelligent school-teacher, every country-surveyor, every 
civil and mining engineer, chemist, amateur or collector, one of its 
working corps, would, we believe, do the work better, more cheaply, 
and with vastly more benefit to the material and intellectual prosperity 
of the State, than any present organization. This would be a school 
of science indeed, unincumbered by the dead weight of expensive 
school-buildings, whose laboratory and museum would cover every 
square foot of the State's surface. 



Br Prof. D. II. WIIEELEE. 

WHATEVER may become of Darwin's theory of natural selec- 
tion, its worst foes must at last concede it the rare honor of 
being reckoned the most fertile hypothesis ever proclaimed. It has 
created a library of books on species, selection, and evolution, and it 
enters more or less into most attempts at serious writing. It was to 
be expected that it should turn up in politics ; but we were hardly 
prepared for so brave an entry on that field as it makes in Bagehot's 
" Physics and Politics." 

It is refreshing to know that Darwinism puts a more cheerful as- 
pect upon physics in the social life of man than has been given to it 
by Draper and Buckle. 

To Mr. Bagehot, the principle of natural selection applied to poli- 
tics suggests the hopeful and beneficent side of law ; Dr. Draper's books 
were preachments upon its awful and relentless aspects. 

There is a valuable truth in natural selection applied to politics ; 
for it is conceded that history shows us a struggle of races, and we 
who survive are ready enough to believe that the sti'ongest survive 
because they are the best. 

The earlier attempts to put physical forces into their place in man's 
social institutions, claimed a monopoly for them. The Gulf Stream 
wrote "Paradise Lost " and Newton's " Principia." The new attempt 
to trace these lines of law seems to promise success by leaving a little 
for Newton and Milton to do. 

Physics work in harmony with morals. Morality is not a base and 
ragged accident, nor is it a fated product of temperature ; it has rela- 
tions to the weather, but the most important of these is its power to 
make, through industry and thought, a pleasant summer in an ice- 
bound city, and a grateful coolness in the torrid zone. 

The moralists are fertile in all forms of social power ; that is an old 
truth, too stubborn to be talked down. Religion has value every- 
where, even in making fighters. God-fearing armies are hard to beat ; 
and a man with an honest faith in him is as ugly a customer to face in 
fight as thirty degrees below zero. I hope nobody supposes that poli- 
tics are without law. I know nothing so absurd as to believe in God 
and deny law to history, unless it be to be atheist and deny it. In 
truth, all of us shiver a little when we remember that God is just, or 
take account of the consequences that attend our public errors. 

But the value of a truth is generally to be measured by its relation 
to hope. The best conquer, the best live ; what an inspiration to 
courageous effort to be the best nation ! 

All the moralities, decencies, cultures, worships, lift up, and strength- 


en, and vitalize a people ; and the purer they are, the more they are 
worth as factors of nationality. 

It is worth while to try to be decent, to reform bad habits, and 
fortify exposed places in our public life ; for the best is the longest- 

This is not very new ; a good deal of such preaching was wasted 
upon the Jews ; but, after being sickened upon the doctrine that a fall 
of temperature produces a given number of suicides, and that morals 
have no influence in civilization, it is worth the cost of listening to a 
sermon, to get back again, under a disciple of Darwin, to the old truth, 
that it is well with the good, and ill with the evil, evermore on the 

The hopeful aspect given to change in national life by Darwinian 
Politics deserves special notice, and seems timely. 

We are all afraid to change born conservatives; and we all want 
something changed born radicals ; and we do change. All human 
life varies incessantly; the new generation sees life in new aspects, and 
rejoices in other colors. The variation comes in constantly; and it is 
our safety. Our inborn conservatism would kill us off if the variation 
did not help our inborn radicalism in the else unequal struggle. That 
which is, like the bird in the hand, is worth two reforms in the bush, 
for a contest. In short, nations grow, progress, thrive, through the 
law of variation from inheritance. 

" One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new 
idea;" the consolation is, that only in pain does progress get birth, 
and that the things born are, on the whole, like the babies of any year, 
a little stronger and better than the things which die to give them room. 
Nor is this so because the moon is not made of green cheese, but be- 
cause a beneficent law underlies human existence. The exceptions are 
numerous ; so too are the small graves at Rose Hill, and yet there are 
more men on the earth, on the whole, happier than their ancestors, 
than there were fifty years ago. We must change ; it is our cowardice 
or indolence that makes change a danger. The law deals generously 
with virtue and strength. 

It is curious to mark how slowly we learn some of these simple les- 
sons. A century ago, we respected, envied, the noble savage. The 
contemptible creature was semi-divine to first-rate poets and states- 
men. They bewailed society, and longed for nakedness in the woods. 

The same men knew that one Roman soldier had outmatched fifty 
semi-barbarians in every struggle, and that noble savages fell into the 
toils of the meanest civilized men in the slave-trade. 

Civilization is strength and happiness. Miss Fragilla may not get 
all the new bonnets she wants ; but that pain is easier borne than the 
" sound belashing " her ancestor got at her age, two centuries ago. 
She may not be all we could wish, but no young man of our blood 
would pass her by for a Choctaw princess. 


The function of liberty in politics deeply interests us. Its power 
to promote healthful change is obvious. It is really liberty, with its 
discussion, its free thinking, and free speaking, that makes good poli- 
tics. Crcsarisni is a thief, robbing free times of their ideas and social 
results. It can live just as long as the loot holds out ; but, when the 
stock on hand is exhausted, free men must be set to producing a new 
crop. The Northwestern Review. 



JUSTUS VON LIEBIG, the famous German chemist, who died at 
Munich, April 18th, was born at Darmstadt, May 12, 1803. Hav- 
ing graduated from the gymnasium of his native place at the age of 
sixteen, his taste for the study of natural science led him first to accept 
a situation in an apothecary's shop, where he expected to have abun- 
dant opportunity for experiment and research. 

After six months' service in the apothecary's shop, Liebig set out 
for the University of Bonn, where he studied for a while, and then 
went to Erlangen. At the latter university he attracted notice by the 
zeal with which he devoted himself to the study of chemistry, and he 
received from the Grand-duke of Hesse a " travelling stipend," which 
enabled him to spend two years (1822-'24) in Paris. There he had the 
advantage of association with Alexander von Humboldt, Gay-Lussac, 
and other eminent scientists. During his stay in Paris he read before 
the Academy of Sciences a paper on "Fulminic Acid" which at once 
stamped him as an able chemist. He was then only twenty-one 
years of age. In 1824 he was, through the influence of Humboldt, 
appointed Adjunct Professor of Chemistry in the University of Giessen, 
and two years later he succeeded to the full dignity of professor. The 
laboratory which he established at Giessen was the best-appointed 
school of chemistry in Germany, and thither flocked students from 
all parts of Europe, but especially from England, and also from this 
country. Leipsic and Gottingen set up chemical laboratories on 
Liebig's model, and the Giessen school became a kind of scientific 
focus, a centre of discovery, whose influence was felt everywhere. 

Prof. Liebig visited England in 1838, attending a meetiug of the 
British Association for the Advancement of Science. He there brought 
forward the discovery made by his associate, Wohler, of a process 
for obtaining urea artificially. This announcement of the first suc- 
cessful step toward the synthesis of compounds in the laboratory, 
which had been supposed producible only under the influence of the 
mysterious forces of life, was received by the Association with pro- 
found interest. At the urgent request of the Association he wrote 



his work on " Organic Chemistry, in its Application to Agriculture " 
(Brunswick, 1840), which was translated into most European lan- 
guages, and had an enormous circulation both in Europe and America. 
In 1845 he received from his sovereign the honor of an hereditary bar- 
ony. Seven years later, in 1852, he accepted the position of Professor 
of Chemistry in the University of Munich, and director of the chemical 
laboratory of that city. 

His principal works, besides those already mentioned, are : " Ani- 
mal Chemistry, or Chemistry in its Applications to Physiology and 
Pathology" (1842); and "Familiar Letters" (1844), which brought 
his views on applied chemistry before a very wide public, in a style so 
simple and popular that practical agriculturists could understand and 
profit by the instruction there conveyed. 

In 1848 he commenced the publication of his " Annalen" or, "An- 
nual Report of the Progress of Chemical Science." He published his 
"Researches on the Chemistry of Food" in 1849. His " Dictionary 
of Chemistry," in which he had the assistance of other writers, ap- 
peared in parts between 1837 and 1851. 

In estimating the relation of Baron Liebig to the thought of his 
age, we are not to regard him as simply a chemist ; he was much more 
he was, in its broadest sense, a philosophical chemist, a man of 
ideas. Since the death of Berzelius, no man has appeared who had the 
weight of universal authority in chemical science. The subject has 
developed into such vastness of detail, that men can only become 
great by limiting themselves to special branches of it. Liebig devoted 
himself to organic chemistry, and even here there are other men who 
have probably surpassed him in the number and importance of their 
immediate contributions to the science. Yet, since Berzelius closed his 
career, no savant has appeared in the chemical field who has achieved 
so brilliant and conspicuous a position as Liebig. 

He had in an eminent degree the traits of a successful pioneer in 
the world of thought. He was a man of impulse, sympathy, and en- 
thusiasm, as well as of intellect. He could not give his life to simple, 
quiet laboratory investigation, content to make a few additions to the 
stock of scientific truth. Although trained to the strict methods of 
investigation, and competent to bend his energies to specific research, 
yet his manly interest in his fellow-beings, and the welfare and prog- 
ress of society, determined the course of his studies, and led him 
constantly to the development of large practical results. When he 
began with organic chemistry, it was in its infancy, and chiefly con- 
fined to the production of a few organic compounds by laboratory 
decomposition. As for the chemical interpretation of the living organ- 
ism, it was hardly thought of. The mystery of the vital forces reigned 
supreme, and barred the way to true inductive investigation. So also 
with agricultural chemistry. Davy had originated the name early in 
the century, and presented some of its elementary facts ; but they did 


not reach to practical results, and amounted to nothing in their influ- 
ence upon the public. The work of Licbig was nothing less than to 
erect both these sciences into recognized branches of study, to direct 
the scientific thought of his age to these fields of inquiry, and to 
arouse the interest of the public in their practical applications ; and 
this great work it is his lasting honor to have accomplished. That he 
should have committed errors, was inevitable. The first bold original 
speculations upon complex subjects cannot fail to be always imperfect. 
And, besides, that order of temperament which fitted him to be a 
reformer and a leader, and to stimulate and urge on other men, was 
favorable to rashness of generalization and a sanguine anticipation of 
conclusions. And yet Liebig's leading doctrines, to whatever degree 
requiring modification, were steps in the right direction of investiga- 
tion ; while their amendment and revision have made the reputations 
of other men. 

Prof. Liebig's name will always be intimately and honorably asso- 
ciated with the rise of biological science in the nineteenth century. 
He stands at the beginning of one of the great epochs of knowledge, 
to which his genius has assisted to give development and direction, 
and he illustrates in an eminent degrree that hio-hest trait of modern 
character devotion to scientific truth to the end of a large and noble 

It remains to be stated that Prof. Liebig entertained large and 
liberal political views. Although working under the European system 
with great success, ennobled by it, and appreciating its advantages, 
he nevertheless condemned its repressions and interferences, and 
looked beyond the ocean for the realization of his hopes and ideas. 
He was an enthusiast in regard to America, where he had many more 
readers than in any other country, and he expected great things from 
freedom, intelligence, and active enterprise in the United States. He 
even entertained serious notions of taking up his residence in our 
country. Like Agassiz, he saw that there were great possibilities 
for the future of science on this continent, and he indulged the idea, 
which was much more than a fancy, of establishing a great agricult- 
ural institution in one of the States. He would have been welcome 
here with a cordiality beyond his anticipation ; for he was not only 
universally known and highly respected, but the most numerous class 
of the community the agriculturists recognized him as benefactor. 





To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly: 

THE press has recently occupied itself 
to an unusual degree with matters 
which concern our system of higher educa- 
tion ; and a poiut on which the widest di- 
versity of views has been expressed, and 
on which the argument on both sides has 
been maintained with the greatest ability 
and earnestness, is the question whether 
mental training is a process which can only 
be successfully conducted by assuming that 
its subjects will not in general receive it 
voluntarily, and whether, therefore, it is or 
is not necessary to proceed upon the plan 
of coercing them to their own good. This 
discussion originated in an intimation 
thrown out by President Eliot, of Harvard 
University, in his last annual report, to the 
effect that it might possibly be thought ex- 
pedient in that institution hereafter to abol- 
ish the rules which make the attendance of 
students upon scholastic exercises compul- 
sory, holding them, nevertheless, to rigorous 
examination upon the subjects taught, and 
conferring degrees in arts only upon satis- 
factory evidence of proficiency. This sug- 
gestion encountered a prompt and vigorous 
response and expostulation from the Rev. 
President McCosh, of Princeton, in a com- 
munication addressed, in January last, to 
the New - York Evening Post. Other writers 
took up the argument at greater or less 
length on both sides of the controversy ; 
but nowhere has there appeared a more 
able or conclusive vindication of the wisdom 
of the principle involved in President Eliot's 
suggestion than that which was put forth in 
the March number of The Popular Science 
Monthly. I cannot but thank you for your 
bold and free treatment of a subject in re- 
gard to which prescriptive usage, and the 
bias in the public mind which long prescrip- 
tion always carries with it, are against you ; 
but which concerns in a very high degree 
the influence of our svstems of education 

on the formation of the moral no less than 
the intellectual character of the youth who 
are subjected to it. 

Immediately on the appearance of the 
article of Dr. McCosh, it was my design to 
offer a slight contribution to the literature 
of this subject, founded on my own per- 
sonal observation of different educational 
methods during a thirty years' connection 
with the administration of colleges ; but, 
owing to unforeseen interruptions, my labor 
remained unfinished on my hands until the 
favorable moment had passed by. My at- 
tention has been recently drawn to the sub- 
ject again by the publication (also in the 
Evening Post) of a letter from Prof. Yen- 
able, Dean of the Faculty of the University 
of Virginia, describing the educational sys- 
tem of that institution, of which compul- 
sory attendance is an essential feature, but 
referring in respectful terms to the plan 
proposed by President Eliot. This letter is 
presented by the Post as one of unusual im- 
portance and interest ; yet it adds nothing 
to what has been universally known of the 
Virginia system for the past forty years, 
although it sets forth the leading features 
of this system with clearness and concise- 
ness. In commending it, I understand the 
Post to be once more commending, though 
indirectly, the compulsory system ; and this 
brings back to me my nearly-forgotten pur- 
pose above referred to, to have my word in 
this matter also. 

I will commence, therefore, by remark- 
ing that all that Dr. McCosh has said, or 
that anybody may say, as to the importance 
of regular drill to the efficiency of any sys- 
tem of mental discipline, will be readily ad- 
mitted by every experienced educator of 
youth. Whether, as that learned gentleman 
assumes, the undergraduate student is to 
be regarded as being too immature to be in- 
trusted with a freedom which he may pos- 
sibly abuse, or whether, with President Eliot, 
we suppose that he is as likely to attend 
to his collegiate exercises from a just ap- 
preciation of their value to himself, and a 



proper sense of duty, as through any spe- 
cies of coercion, in either case there can be 
no doubt that this regularity of attendance 
is of indispensable importance, and that, in 
one way or another, it must be secured. It 
is supposed by Dr. McCosh that Harvard 
University may have been influenced in her 
views as to this subject by the presumed 
usages of foreign institutions of similar 
grade, or by the known practice of the pro- 
fessional schools of our own country ; and, 
in regard to the colleges of Great Britain 
and Ireland, he hastens to correct the im- 
pression, if it exists, that attendance upon 
scholastic exercises is not made compulsory 
in them. It seems to me, nevertheless, to 
be unnecessary to go beyond the reason as- 
signed by President Eliot himself as indicat- 
ing the expediency of the change, in order 
to discover his motive for proposing it. This 
reason is, that the average age of the un- 
dergraduate students in Harvard University 
(and it may be added in all our colleges at 
present at least in all those of the Atlan- 
tic States) is three or four years more ad- 
vanced than it was in the earlier part of 
this century. Dr. McCosh admits the truth 
of this statement. He does not even seem 
to deprecate the fact that mature young 
men seek to avail themselves of the educa- 
tional advantages which colleges offer. But 
he hardly attempts to disguise his convic- 
tion that the college was not designed for 
this class of students, nor that their actual 
predominance in it in numbers is evidence 
to him that it has been perverted from the 
original object of its institution. This is 
apparent from his remark that, " if there be 
a diminution in the number of young men 
attending colleges in relation to the popula- 
tion, it is very much owing to the circum- 
stance that certain of the colleges have 
been practically raising the age of entrance, 
so as to prevent persons from entering upon 
their professional business until some of the 
best years of their life are spent." In his 
view, therefore, the existing state of things 
is an evil, and the blame of it is directly 
chargeable upon the colleges themselves. I 
do not, I confess, find the evidence to sus- 
tain this view of the case. The colleges 
have not raised the age of entrance by le- 
gislation. The minimum age in Columbia 
College is fifteen years. In Yale College it 

is fourteen, as it has been for the past half- 
century. In Harvard University there is 
no minimum at all. If there is any mode 
of " practically " raising the standard ex- 
cept by arbitrarily rejecting the younger 
class of applicants, notwithstanding that, 
by the published regulations, they are legally 
admissible, it does not occur to me to con- 
jecture what it can be ; yet this is not a 
practice which I have ever heard imputed 
to any American college. But it may be 
said that the colleges have brought the 
observed result to pass by increasing the 
severity of the entrance tests. This hy- 
pothesis can certainly not be sustained, so 
far, at least, as the classics are concerned 
(and it is here that the great labor of prepa- 
ration lies), if we take as our guide the 
published entrance conditions. As a rule, 
the reverse is even the case, the amount 
exacted, measured by quantity if not by 
quality, being materially less than it was 
fifty years ago. Some little addition has 
been made to the amount of exaction in the 
mathematics, but not enough to make it 
difficult for a lad to prepare himself for col- 
lege as early as fourteen, or earlier. To 
these statements, Harvard College may pos- 
sibly present an exception, but the in- 
creased entrance exactions there have not 
been in operation long enough to have had 
any influence in producing the phenomenon 
in question. If it is a fact, therefore, that 
the average age of undergraduate students 
has risen and I believe there can be no 
doubt about that it is a fact which is not 
imputable to the colleges, nor one which 
they could control if they would ; unless, 
indeed, instead of legislating about mini- 
mum ages, they should think proper to es- 
tablish a maximtim age, above which no 
applicant should be admitted, and should 
place this low enough to exclude every in- 
dividual who has passed the years of boy- 
hood. Such a measure would probably 
meet with few advocates. If it were im- 
portant that we should explain the re- 
markable fact above mentioned, it would 
be quite sufficient to point to the immense 
improvement which has taken place within 
the century in the training-schools cf grade 
inferior to the colleges schools admirably 
and precisely fitted to the wants of boys 
of tender age, and armed with a coercive 



power to hold them to their tasks tenfold 
as great as any college possesses, or can 
possess. For such striplings, it is well that 
they are at school, and that they are not in 
college ; and to an intuitive perception of 
this truth on the part of parents it is un- 
questionably owing that so many remain 

However this may be, we must take the 
facts as we find them, whether we would 
have them so or not, since it does not ap- 
pear that we can very well make them other 
than they are. What is true in the present 
is likely to be permanently true in the 
future, viz., that the average age of under- 
graduate students in American colleges is, 
and will be, several years more advanced 
than it was three-quarters of a century ago, 
and even much more recently. And this 
important truth implies a very material 
change in the character of the student-body 
a change marked by a large advance in 
maturity of judgment, an increased power 
of self-control, and a sensible diminution of 
the levity and volatility which distinguish 
the period of boyhood. To place such a 
community of young men under a system 
of restraints in nowise different from that 
which was originally devised for boys but 
a step removed from childhood, is to check 
the development of character in the direc- 
tion of manly sentiment which should ac- 
company this age, by tempting or compel- 
ling the student to govern his conduct not 
in accordance with the principles of pro- 
priety or right, but in obedience to an arbi- 
trary, sometimes, in his judgment, an un- 
reasonable, and often to his belief a need- 
lessly oppressive rule. 

The hope which President Eliot thinks 
it not unreasonable to entertain in regard 
to Harvard College, viz., " that it will soon 
get entirely rid of a certain school-boy 
spirit," which used to prevail there, but of 
which the traces are continually growing 
less, is a hope in which many similar insti- 
tutions, with good reason, participate. It 
is a hope of which every judicious educator 
will do all that lies in his power to promote 
the fulfilment. The most unnecessary of 
the evils with which our colleges are at 
present afflicted are, those that grow out 
of such traces as still linger of this frivolous 
spirit. And if the rigorous rules which 

subject mature young men to a severe ac- 
count of the disposition made of every mo- 
ment of their time, or which place them 
under an irritating and annoying surveil- 
lance, are necessary (as it must be pre- 
sumed they are supposed to be, or they 
would not be maintained), to assure their 
proper mental training, then certainly it is 
much to be lamented that these same neces- 
sary rules should be as prejudicial to their 
moral culture as they are said to be health- 
ful to their mental. Is it not time, then, 
that we should begin to consider whether 
there are not influences capable of being 
brought to bear upon the undergraduate 
youth of our colleges, which will prove 
nearly, if not absolutely, as effectual in 
securing their regular attendance upon 
their scholastic exercises as any system 
of pains and penalties can be ? Does the 
abandonment of the system of positive co- 
ercion involve necessarily the disastrous 
consequences apprehended by Dr. McCosh, 
of a neglect of faithful daily effort, and an 
attempt to satisfy the tests of proficiency 
imposed by the academie authorities, by 
means of a pernicious periodical cram- 
ming ? 

These are questions in regard to which 
no general agreement is likely to be reached 
by mere discussion. They are matters of 
opinion ; and, when opinions differ in regard 
to what is likely to happen in hypothetical 
cases, it is generally true that the advocates 
of opposing views are more likely to be con- 
firmed by argument in their original convic- 
tions, than converted to those of their adver- 
saries. The only source from which, in mat- 
ters of this kind, conclusions can be drawn 
which shall admit of no controversy, is act- 
ual experience ; and thus far the results of 
experience have not been adduced by any 
of the parties to this discussion. President 
Eliot puts forward his proposed measure, 
not in the tone of confidence in which one 
speaks of a thing which has been tried and 
found to work well ; but rather apparently 
as a feeler, for the purpose of trying the 
temper of the public mind, and ascertaining 
whether that is likely to tolerate so bold an 
experiment at Harvard ; and Dr. McCosh 
trembles at the very thought of such an ex- 
periment in such an institution, being quite 
certain in advance that it must end in igno- 

2 3 8 


minious failure, and being apprehensive that 
the disastrous consecpaences which must 
follow will be felt in all the other colleges 
of the land. And yet, after all, this is not 
entirely a question of possibilities or proba- 
bilities. The experiment has been tried al- 
ready, and tried until it is no longer an ex- 
periment. It has been tried at least long 
enough to prove that it is not surrounded 
by any of the dangers which seem so formi- 
dable to the distinguished president of 
Princeton, and that it is truly attended by 
all the advantageous consequences which 
are anticipated from it by the enlightened 
and progressive president of Harvard. This 
identical experiment has been tried for a 
period of more than four years in Columbia 
College ; and it is this fact which has in- 
duced me to intrude the expression of my 
opinions into this discussion. 

More than four years have now elapsed 
since the ordinary modes of compulsion, by 
which the attendance of students upon scho- 
lastic exercises is commonly enforced in col- 
leges, were abandoned in this institution. 
As a substitute for these, the simple rule 
was adopted, that any marked irregularity 
of attendance on the daily exercises should 
debar the student from the privilege of at- 
tending the stated periodical examinations, 
through which every candidate for gradua- 
tion is obliged by statute to pass, and to 
pass satisfactorily, before he can receive a 
degree in Arts. And, in order to remove 
any uncertainty which might exist as to the 
amount of irregularity which should be con- 
sidered sufficient to deprive an individual 
of this privilege, the limit of tolerated ab- 
sences from any particular department of 
study was put at one-fourth of the total 
number of exercises in that department. 
This limit was fixed upon, because it had 
been already tried, for several years, with 
results entirely satisfactory, in the School 
of Mines which is associated with the col- 
lege, and which is carried on, on the same 
grounds. Under this system, a student may 
absent himself without being called upon to 
assigu any reason for his absence. He may, 
if he pleases, assign such a reason volunta- 
rily, or he may state in advance his desire 
or intention to be absent from a future ex- 
ercise, and, in case he does this, a note is 
made of the reason so assigned, which is 

preserved for a purpose which will presently 
appear. In order that he may be always 
aware of the state of his absence account, a 
bulletin is kept constantly posted where it 
is accessible to him, exhibiting the number 
of his absences from every department sep- 
arately, up to the current date. The data 
for this bulletin are derived from the daily 
reports of the college officers made to the 
president each officer presenting his report 
for- the day, immediately after the close of 
college hours and from these the proper en- 
tries are made in the bulletin immediately. 
An abstract of this record is furnished 
monthly to the parent or guardian of every 
student ; so that, if there be any unjustifia- 
ble irregularity, it is referred to the au- 
thority most suitable to investigate the 
causes and to apply the proper correction. 
If, at the close of the session, any student 
appears, from the record, to have exceeded 
his limit, in any department, he is notified 
that he is debarred from examination in 
that department ; and the loss of an exam- 
ination, in any single department, deprives 
him of his standing as a candidate for a 
degree. He is not on that account com- 
pelled to leave college. He may continue 
to attend as before ; but, if, on account of 
growing irregularity, or inattention to study, 
his attendance should be deemed unprofit- 
able to himself, or prejudicial to others, he 
may be required to withdraw. In this event, 
he retires silently, and without censure. 

In case a student, whose absences for 
the session exceed the limit of tolerance, 
should be able to make it appear that all 
these absences were occasioned by causes 
beyond his control, or were otherwise justi- 
fiable, the faculty are at liberty, in their 
discretion, to raise the ban, and to admit 
him to examination. But, if a single one 
of these absences appears to have been 
wanton or unwarranted, it is of no avail to 
him that all the others were unavoidable 
he loses his standing as a candidate for a 

Under this system an appeal is made to 
a higher motive than the fear of censure. 
It is inculcated on the student continually 
that to attend the college exercises is a 
privilege and a duty ; to be absent a loss 
and a wrong to himself. And, when this 
idea becomes familiar, he will not only be- 


2 39 

come habituated to attend from choice, but 
he will profit more by his attendance, and 
will less frequently be found endeavoring to 
beguile the weary hours of his imprison- 
ment in the class-room, by petty frivolities 
out of harmony with the character for man- 
liness which he should at this period of his 
life be forming. 

As to the results of this system in prac- 
tice, the following remarks, taken from the 
annual report of the president of the col- 
lege to the trustees, in 1869, which repre- 
sent the facts as they apeared then, may be 
applied without any important modification 
to the experience of the more recent years : 
" The effects of the change have proved a 
very interesting subject of observation. Af- 
ter the lapse of four entire months, it may be 
said, of a large majority of the students, 
that no perceptible difference can be dis- 
covered at all in the degree of the regularity 
of their attendance upon scholastic exer- 
cises, as it was rendered before and after 
the adoption of the new regulations. A 
certain limited number have never been ab- 
sent at all. A much larger number have 
been absent only at rare intervals. A num- 
ber larger still, while absent more frequent- 
ly, have not at all increased the frequency 
of their absences in consequence of the 
change of regulations. Some of these re- 
side at inconvenient distances, or are liable 
to interruptions of their regularity from 
other causes beyond their control. . , . From 
an inspection of the record, it is safe to say 
that there are more than three-fourths of 
the entire college body, whose regularity of 
attendance has been totally unaffected by 
the introduction of the new regulations. In 
regard to the remaining fourth, or probably 
a proportion less than a fourth, it must be 
admitted that their irregularity of attend- 
ance has sensibly increased. This fact 
shows a degree of parental indifference or 
of parental indulgence which was hardly 
looked for ; but the evil, so far a it exists, 
admits of a simple remedy, since the cause 
is obvious. The inspection of the record 
makes it quite evident that there is no ne- 
cessity to make so large an allowance for 
occasional absences as one-fourth of the 
entire number. The majority of the stu- 
dents are probably not absent one-tenth of 
the number. It is practicable, and may be 

advisable, to reduce this latitude to one- 
sixth or one-eighth, or even to a less pro- 
portion, and the evil will inevitably disap- 

As yet, however, it has not been thought 
necessary to resort to the expedient here 
indicated ; and, though, in the statutes of the 
college as they stand, the power is vested 
in the faculty to apply coercive measures to 
enforce attendance, this power has never 
been resorted to, nor has the evil increased. 
In occasional and very rare instances, a 
student has been obliged to withdraw from 
college on account of persistent irregularity 
or neglect of study ; but this by no means 
more frequently than had been the case 
under the system of coercion. One quite 
effectual corrective, applied with us in cases 
of this kind, is, to require a student deficient 
in scholarship to study out of college hours 
under a private tutor, while still continuing 
his attendance with his classes ; and to 
make his restoration to regular standing as 
a candidate for a degree dependent on the 
presentation of a certificate from his tutor, 
attesting his faithful attention to the studies 
prescribed, and his satisfactory proficiency 
in them. 

The expedients here described, by which 
we aim to hold students in college to the 
proper discharge of their duties, may be 
said perhaps to partake, after all, of the na- 
ture of coercion ; but they are not coercive 
in the sense in which that word is usually 
employed, when it implies a system of pains 
and penalties which offend a young man's 
self-respect, and carry with them, more or 
less, a sense of disgrace. If they are coer- 
cive, they are so precisely as the rules of 
morality or of gentlemanly propriety are 
coercive, by operating on the conscience ; 
or as the suggestions of prudence in the or- 
dinary affairs of life are coercive, by con- 
straining men so to govern their conduct as 
not to prejudice their substantial interests. 
This is a kind of coercion under which we 
should desire all young men, and all men of 
every age, to be placed. It is in itself an 
educational influence, and one of the most 
salutary to which men can be subjected. 
When all our colleges shall have seen their 
way to the adoption of a regimen like this, 
as sooner or later they inevitably will, we 
may hope to see the complete disappear- 



attcc of that spirit of frivolity which too 
generally prevails at present among their 
inmates, and which President Eliot men- 
tions to deprecate a spirit already declin- 
ing even in the absence of the healthful in- 
fluence which the system I have attempted 
to describe brings with it, and which, 
though not yet wholly extinct, survives 
rather as a pernicious inheritance from 
other times, than because, in the conditions 
of modern educational institutions, it finds 
any thing properly congenial to its main- 

With one further remark I conclude. It 
is experimentally proved that no system of 
compulsory attendance in college is neces- 
sary to secure faithful attention to their 
duties and a conscientious improvement of 
their opportunities, on the part of that large 
proportion of undergraduate students whom 
collegiate education is likely to benefit 
That smaller proportion, who will always 
neglect their duties if they can, will not 
greatly profit under any system, whether of 
absolute freedom, or of coercion, however 
rigorous. I am unable to perceive the wis- 
dom of adapting systems of control with 
special, or, I may say, exclusive, reference 
to the case of those who least deserve to be 
considered, and out of whom the least is 
likely to be made ; especially when this can 
only be done by depriving the rest of what 
soems to me to be one of the most felicitous 
moral influences which can surround and 
accompany them during the period of their 

Very respectfully yours, 

F. A. P. Barnard. 
Columbia College, April 2, 1S73. 


To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly. 

Mr. Editor : I listened, among others, 
to the speech of Mr. Parke Godwin at the 
Tyndall Dinner, and have been much inter- 
ested both in the speech and in the discus- 
sions which have grown out of it. Of 
course, we cannot all expect to view the 
most important subjects in the same light, 
but I feel sure it is a mistake to attribute 
to Mr. Godwin any thing like a spirit of op- 
position or depreciation toward scientific 

progress or preeminence. On the contrary, 
what he said was, we believe, wholly in the 
interest of science. He simply gave ex- 
pression, in unusually elegant and forcible 
language, to ideas which are entertained of 
late by many professionally scientific men. 
He did not propose to cramp scientific in- 
quiry, nor to limit, in any way, its powers 
or its results, but only to prevent Its con- 
tamination by what would degrade and 
cripple it. His speech, as we understand 
it, was a protest, not against science, but in 
its behalf, and against the damaging influ- 
ence of pretended followers or mistaken 

There is no danger now that science can 
ever suffer from the attacks of its enemies, 
unless it be first debauched by the folly of 
its own partisans. Its progress for the last 
hundred years has been a series of tri- 
umphs, so numerous and brilliant that noth- 
ing else is now in a position to stand against 
it. And it owes this success entirely to the 
fidelity with which it has pursued its le- 
gitimate course, and the steady determina- 
tion with which it has adhered to the 
method of strict scientific observation. For 
a long time we have given up the notion of 
the old philosophers, that men could dis- 
cover things by thinking about them ; and 
have only considered it worth while to 
spend our time in the investigation of actual 
phenomena. What has been, for the last 
half-century, the invariable demand of the 
world of science upon its votaries ? When- 
ever any one made his appearance with a 
new claim to attention, the scientific public 
said to him, in effect : " What is that you 
have to tell us of this new body or sub- 
stance ? We do not wish to hear what you 
think about it, but only what you knoic. 
How much does it weigh ? What are its 
form and structure ? What are the actual 
results of its chemical analysis? What 
phenomena does it exhibit under special 
conditions ? If it be a peculiar force or 
mode of activity, instead of a material sub- 
stance, what are the exact conditions of its 
manifestation, and what are the results of 
its action, in quantity as well as in kind ? " 

This is the healthy and nutritious food 
upon which science has grown to her pres- 
ent proportions. In following such a track 
with such unswerving patience, she can 



never make a mistake. But, the moment 
she leaves this path, she is in danger, or 
rather she is sure to go wrong, because 
whatever works by other than scientific 
methods is not science, and at best can only 
put on a kind of scientific garb, and mas- 
querade in scientific phraseology. 

Are there not some indications that we 
are not yet altogether beyond this danger ? 
Are we not even more or less exposed to it 
at this particular time? Some scientific 
writers are certainly disposed to talk quite 
as much about their conclusions and theo- 
retical explanations as about the phenomena 
they describe. There is no harm in this 
(except that it occupies a good deal of time 
that might be otherwise employed), pro- 
vided they keep the boundary-line well 
marked between what they know and what 
they think on the subject in question. But 
they do not always do this. The hypo- 
thetical explanations are sometimes erected 
into a law, or principle, or theory, which, in 
the author's mind, evidently overshadows 
in importance every thing else. So we are 
sometimes supposed to have acquired a 
valuable piece of information when we are 
only, as the French say, " getting our pay in 
words." How much has been said and 
written for the past few years about proto- 
plasm! Now, a student of physiology 
would be very excusable for thinking, from 
the manner in which this term is used, that 
protoplasm was some newly-discovered and 
important substance, with definite physical 
and chemical properties, and of the highest 
consequence in regard to vital organization. 
He would be considerably disappointed on 
finding it to be only a word representing a 
certain set of ideas, or at best a group of 
many various substances, each one of them 
specifically different from the rest. 

There is even a certain kind of authority 
claimed, at least by implication, for some 
of these theoretical notions ; and there is 
no doubt that they are occasionally assigned 
an established position as accepted truths, 
to which they are very far from being en- 
titled. If it were not so improbable that 
Science could ever be induced to imitate in 
the least degree her old theological enemy, 
we might suspect even now a disposition in 
some minds to frame for us a sort of scien- 
tific Nicene Creed, the merit of believing in 
vol. in. 16 

which would not depend exclusively upon 
the possession of sufficient reliable evidence. 
If such a creed were drawn up just at pres- 
ent, it would probably read something like 
this : 
I believe in the Darwinian Theory ; 

In the Evolution Hypothesis ; 

In the Undulation of Light and 
the Luminiferous Ether ; and 

In the Atomic Constitution of 
Now, we all know that theories are use- 
ful in their way, if confined within a very 
small compass, and employed only to stimu- 
late rather than satisfy inquiry, and to sug- 
gest the direction in which new facts may 
be discovered. But, when they are raised 
to a higher dignity, and demand our belief 
in them as representing the actual constitu- 
tion of Nature, then they are a misfortune 
to everybody concerned. If we treat them 
with any more respect than they deserve, 
we shall suffer for it inevitably by the loss 
of something which is infinitely more val- 
uable than any of them. The records of 
the immediate past show the achievements 
which have been accomplished by means of 
strict adherence to exact methods of in- 
vestigation. Should the scientific mind of 
to-day become ever so little intoxicated with 
its success, and undertake to decide ques- 
tions which are beyond its horizon, it will 
certainly stultify itself, and lose the univer- 
sal support and confidence which it has now 
so fairly acquired. For that reason I think 
that Mr. Godwin, in his Tyndall Dinner 
speech, was doing good service for science 
and scientific men, and that we are indebted 
to him for placing in a very distinct light 
the only source of danger for scientific in- 
terests in the future. J. C. D. 


It is well known that many religious 
newspapers construed several of the speech- 
es at the Tyndall banquet as righteous re- 
bukes of the guest of the evening, on ac- 
count of his irreligious science. His state- 
ment below was called out by a leading 
article in the Christian Intellif/encer of Feb- 
ruary 13th, entitled " The Tyndall Banquet," 



from which the following is an extract : "A 
more significant farewell a visitor has never 
received at our hands. Prof. Tyndall was 
welcomed among us as a man of science. It 
was known, indeed, that he claimed, in that 
character, a warrant to question some popu- 
lar religious faiths ; but we may safely say 
that the professors of those faiths never 
supposed that he would carry his assumed 
warrant upon the platform and into his lect- 
ures on 'Light.' Yet he did that very 
thing, attacking, in those lectures, both our 
religious faith and one large class of its pro- 
fessors. Moreover, when the assaults thus 
made were formally complained of, he ex- 
pressed no regret for them. Indeed, lest 
even so significant silence might fail to be 
appreciated, he now took pains to emboss 
upon his farewell speech the following re- 
markable sentences : ' Were there any lin- 
gering doubt as to my visit at the bottom 
of my mind ; did I feel that I had blun- 
dered and, with the best and purest inten- 
tions, I might, through an error of judg- 
ment, have blundered so as to cause you 
discontent, I should now be wishing to 
abolish the doubt, or to repair the blunder ; 
but there is no drawback of this kind.' 
After this unusual assertion of his perfect 
satisfaction with his course, it would have 
been unjust, both to him and to a very 
large part of his American audiences, to 
suffer him to depart without some weighty 
reminder of his mistake." 

Of Dr. Hitchcock's address the writer re- 
marks : " The few opening sentences which 
have thus far been printed indicate the dig- 
nified and manly tone in which American 
Christians resented, through him, the effort 
of one sort of science to disparage religion ; " 
and he then says : " But Dr. Hitchcock did 
not stand alone. He had sympathizers 
enough among his hearers to indorse his 
expressions with repeated applause; and, 
what was even more significant, he found 
the heartiest support in the speech of 
Parke Godwin, who followed him, speaking 
for the press. The fact that a clergyman 
should vindicate the claims of religion, even 
at a dinner given in compliment to one of 
his assailants, might not seem in any way 
remarkable or important. But the editor 
of the Post had no professional zeal to rally 
him to the same battle ; and when, after a 

detail of some of the most arrogant assump- 
tions of irreligious scientists, he proceeded, 
with indignant eloquence, to remand their 
science to its own exact sphere, and to 
claim for revelation the settlement of the 
questions of 'primal origin and ultimate 
destinies,' Mr. Tyndall must have had a 
complacency quite impervious by ordinary 
weapons, if he persisted in thinking he had 
' made no blunder,' and had ' caused no 
discontent.' Did Mr. Godwin suppose that 
the sentiments he was uttering were those 
of his guest? Did not he and all the com- 
pany know they were not ? Then, did he 
in uttering them, and they in applauding 
them, offer a gratuitous insult to the man 
they pretended to honor ? No ; but they 
did a loyal duty to the religion which he 
had wantonly assailed. They set a stint to 
their courtesy to the man, lest the excess 
of it should make a betrayal of their faith." 
Upon which, Prof. Tyndall remarks as 
follows, in a letter to a friend : 

"I confess to reading with some amaze- 
ment the article on the ' Tyndall Banquet,' 
in the Intelligencer. I am there charged 
with attacking, in my lec'tures, both the 
Christian faith and one large class of its 
professors. If the telling of the truth be 
a necessary entry on the passport to ' the 
better land,' then, assuming the maker of 
this charge to be not in a state of invincible 
ignorance, I would not exchange my chances 
on the frontier of immortality for his. The 
fact is that, though solicited to do so, I 
steadily refused to quit the neutral ground 
of the intellect during my visit to the Uni- 
ted States. My audiences in Boston, Phila- 
delphia, Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn, 
and New Haven, can testify whether a single 
word relating to religion was heard in any 
lecture of mine delivered in those cities. 
New York can answer whether, in five out 
of the six lectures there delivered, a syllable 
was uttered, pro or con, regarding religion. 
And I confidently appeal to that heroic au- 
dience which paid me the memorable com- 
pliment of coming to hear me on the in- 
clement night when the words were spoken 
on which this charge is hung, whether, as 
regards its substance or its tone, what I 
then said could, with fairness, be construed 
into an attack 'upon religious faith, and 
one large class of its professors.' Put my 


2 43 

words and manner before them, and I would 
fearlessly trust to the manhood of any 
Young Men's Christian Association in the 
Union for a verdict in this matter. The 
writer in the Intelligencer, moreover, fails to 
see one conclusion to which his assertions 
inevitably lead; for, were they true, the 
perfectly unmistakable manner in which 
the ' attack ' was received by the audience 
would prove the state of ' religious faith' in 
New York to be the reverse of creditable 
to hiin and others who have the care of it. 

" The head and front of my offending 
hath this extent : At the conclusion of one 
of my lectures, I referred, for two minutes, 
in mild language, to the reported words 
reported, I would add, by a Presbyterian 
of the intemperate occupant of a single 
Presbyterian pulpit, and this is wilfully 
twisted by that occupant into an attack 
upon the Presbyterian body. The charge, 
as originally made, and as now echoed by 

the Intelligencer, is so silly that I did not 
think it worth public refutation. Why 
should I care about refuting it, when the 
sympathetic kindness of the very men I was 
reported to have assailed assured me that 
they did not believe a word of the indict- 
ment ? I carried no more pleasant memory 
with me from the United States than that 
of my reception at the Presbyterian College 
of Yale. The high-minded youths and cult- 
ured gentlemen whom I met there, as in- 
deed the Presbyterian body generally, a 
few hot-headed fanatics excepted, knew how 
to rate at its proper worth the statement of 
Dr. Hall, and they will, I am persuaded, 
assign to its echo in the Intelligencer the 
self-same arithmetical value. 

" Should you deem this letter, or any part 
of it, necessary to public enlightenment, you 
are at liberty to make public use of it. 
" Ever yours faithfully, 

"John Tyndaix." 



THE proposition of Prof. Leeds, in 
his article on " State Geological 
Surveys," to link these undertakings to 
the collegiate institutions of the country 
is a novel and very important one, and 
deserves the serious attention of all the 
friends of scientific education. After 
stating the aims and necessities of these 
surveys, the writer shows how college 
talent might be pressed into their ser- 
vice, and points out the advantages 
that would arise both in giving thor- 
oughness to the work, and in dimin- 
ishing its expense to the State. Prof. 
Leeds confines himself mainly to the 
consideration of economy, thoroughness 
in the performance of the work, and 
the interests of the survey itself. But 
such a measure could not fail to yield 
double advantages : it would be as good 
for the colleges as for the exploration. 
On educational grounds alone, nothing 
could be more desirable than to effect 

this arrangement, and give the colleges 
business of the kind contemplated. 

A geological survey is but a sys- 
tematic scientific inquiry into the struct- 
ure and resources of a given region of 
country. It investigates the strata of 
the earth and their mineral and or- 
ganic contents, both to find out how 
they are constituted, and to contribute 
useful productions to the arts and wants 
of society. In its full scope it inquires 
into the physical features of the region, 
its agricultural adaptations, its vegeta- 
ble productions, its forms of animal 
life in earth, water, and air, its atmos- 
pheric conditions, salubrity, and gen- 
eral climatology. In short, it embraces 
a very full research into those facts of 
Nature which it is important for the 
community to know, and the business 
of science to determine. But the col- 
leges have, for one great object, the 
teaching of those very things. A por- 
tion of their professors are devoted 
to it, of course under the assumption 



that they are competent to carry it 

Now, the result of such an alliance 
as is here proposed could not be other 
than salutary upon the institutions 
themselves. The effect of giving them 
a certain definite and responsible scien- 
tific work in their localities, the results 
of which would be brought to the test 
of public criticism, would inevitably be 
to elevate and sustain the standard of 
instruction in their laboratories and 
lecture-rooms. It is a grave difficulty 
with these higher institutions that their 
work cannot be brought to judgment 
and submitted to fixed and recognized 
tests. They are often the places for 
careless, slipshod, and aimless work. 
Mental results are not easy of inspec- 
tion or valuation ; sham and cram are 
showy and telling, and the constant 
temptation is to put them in the place 
of solid attainment ; and, when college 
authorities can constantly fall back 
upon the pretext that their aim is dis- 
cipline, and that knowledge is a quite 
subordinate matter, they open a door 
which allows any amount of loose and 
slovenly work, and at the same time 
permits the teachers to escape respon- 
sibility and criticism. But if a college 
were publicly placed in the scientific 
charge of the region in which it is sit- 
uated, and required to make such re- 
ports thereof as could be accepted for 
guidance by the community,and brought 
into conspicuous comparison with simi- 
lar work in other localities, the whole 
being under the supervision of able 
superintendents, a standard would be 
introduced that could not fail to give 
a high and authoritative tone to the 
work of the place. 

But the effectual carrying out of 
the plan now proposed would not only 
insure able and qualified men as pro- 
fessors, but much more ; it would call 
the students to the work, and secure 
the grand object of scientific education 
by bringing their minds into direct and 
systematic relation with natural phe- 

nomena. It would bring them out of 
their dormitories and class-rooms into 
the field, and, while favoring health and 
cultivating a sympathy with natural 
tilings, it would bring to bear the stim- 
ulus of curiosity and the love of search, 
while the intellectual work, being of 
the nature of independent observation 
and discovery, would be promotive of 
self-education the best of all educa- 
tion. It is as notorious as it is deplo- 
rable that the scientific teaching of our 
colleges is grossly defective. Geology, 
botany, chemistry, physics, and zool- 
ogy, are taught from books like Latin 
and history, with the aid, perhaps, of 
a few demonstrations by the lecturer. 
The information acquired is super- 
ficial and second-hand, and does not 
deserve the name of scientific knowl- 
edge. We believe the effect upon stu- 
dents of bringing them into close men- 
tal relation with surrounding Nature, 
of putting them in charge of a district, 
and requiring them to observe, classify, 
and describe its various objects, under 
the incitement that their useful work 
would have fair recognition, would be 
to give inspiration to study, solidity 
to acquirement, and the highest possi- 
bilities of usefulness to subsequent life. 
An important consequence of such a 
plan would be, the growth of scientific 
museums which would represent the 
character and resources of the locality. 
As there is no educational appliance 
more important than a good museum, so 
there is no educational process more val- 
uable than the formation of it. Those 
crude, miscellaneous, rubbishy collec- 
tions of curiosities, and odd things gath- 
ered by accident, that are often thrown 
together, without method, in some un- 
appropriated corner of an institution, 
are not entitled to the name of museums. 
Specimens are nothing except as illus- 
trating ideas, and they require to be so 
arranged as to teach the science to 
which they belong. As we ordinarily 
find them, museums are hardly more in- 
structive than so much blank space. A 



good local collection should represent, 
in its specimens, the zoology, botany, 
and geology of the district. It should 
be arranged with a view to teaching, 
and, instead of being crowded with a 
multiplicity of objects, should consist 
of carefully-selected, well-arranged, and 
clearly-labelled types of the classes, 
orders, families, and leading genera of 
animals and plants, extant in the region, 
and gathered in their fossil vestiges, 
from its geological formations, which 
are at the same time represented by 
classified minerals. 

The plan now suggested, by which 
it would become the official duty of col- 
lege authorities to bring together the 
products of a region, so that they would 
be accessible to everybody in quest of 
this kind of information, and at the 
same time tributary to the purposes of 
science, would give us museums worthy 
of the name, and secure the proper ob- 
jects of their establishment. 

In every aspect, therefore, the pro- 
ject of establishing so close a connec- 
tion between State geological explora- 
tions and our higher educational insti- 
tutions is to be cordially commended ; 
and it is not the least of its advantages 
that it coincides with the great ten- 
dencies of educational reform, and offers 
an efficient method of carrying it for- 


In our correspondence for this 
month will be found a letter from a 
distinguished American physiologist, 
approving the position taken by Mr. 
Godwin in his speech at the Tyndall 
dinner, as "a protest, not against sci- 
ence, but in its behalf, and against the 
damaging influence of pretended fol- 
lowers or mistaken friends ; " and this 
view expresses, we are assured, the con- 
viction of many professionally scientific 
men of the present time. 

"We have no desire to prolong con- 
troversy, but, with all respect to the 

professional authorities, we must con- 
tinue to. think that the efforts to limit 
and confine scientific investigation in 
the present age are not in the interest 
of true science ; nor can we see how 
they differ from attempts to obstruct 
the advance of thought that have been 
made in preceding ages. There has al- 
ways been a party unwilling to allow 
science to find its own limits. They 
have forbidden each step of its prog- 
ress, and demanded that it should 
keep within its sphere, for the sake 
of its own good. They have never 
denied science, or questioned its au- 
thority, but only demanded that it 
should consult its own interests by 
staying in its proper place. When the 
work of investigating Nature was se- 
riously commenced, some three or four 
centuries ago, "Aristotle," "Galen," 
and " Mathematics," were terms used 
to define the scope of legitimate sci- 
ence; and, when the first great step 
forward was taken, and men began to 
question the tradition of the flatness of 
the earth, they were sharply met with 
the charge that they were going beyond 
their sphere and damaging science it- 
self. Men were as free as the wind to 
pursue true science that is, to accept 
Aristotelian and Galenic dicta, and to 
cultivate the whole range of mathe- 
matics. The ideal world was a sphere 
of exact and eternal truth ; external 
Nature was a mere flux of sensuous ap- 
pearances, not suspected to be a sphere 
of law; the attempt to study her was 
therefore to invade the ancient and in- 
violable limits of science. Hence, in 
denying the flatness of the earth, and 
affirming its sphericity, the early in- 
quirers not only shocked common- 
sense but were charged with violat- 
ing every canon of established scien- 
tific method. Exactly the same con- 
siderations that are now urged were 
urged then with tenfold force, and the 
antagonists of the new doctrine might 
well have said that they "did not 
propose to cramp scientific inquiry, 



nor to limit in any way its powers or 
its results, but only to prevent its con- 
tamination by what would degrade and 
cripple it." And these tactics have 
been repeated at every great step of 
advancement. It is never genuine sci- 
ence that breaks over the old limits of 
opinion, but always " pretended sci- 
ence," "pseudo-science," and "science 
falsely so called." 

In our correspondent's opinion, sci- 
ence has now attained a position in 
which it holds its destiny in its own 
hands, and is in no danger save from 
the folly of its own partisans. His 
theory of the case is, that science is 
now endangered by excess of theory. 
But, if that be the case, it is threatened 
by its own breath of life. A theory is 
only a view taken by the mind in its 
effort at explanation, and cannot be dis- 
pensed with, if observation and experi- 
ment are to be put to their true use. He 
says that science demands of its votary, 
"not what you think about it, but what 
you know.' 1 '' But what is knowing 
but thinking brought to the highest 
certainty ? and how can this end be 
reached except by the successive steps 
of conjecture and hypothesis ? As 
Dr. "Whewell observes, " To try wrong 
guesses is apparently the only way to 
hit upon right ones." It is not Science 
which puts an embargo upon thinking 
and theorizing, for it is by these that 
all her laws have been arrived at. 
Of course, science demands certainty, 
demonstration, and experimental ex- 
actitude, if obtainable ; and if not, then 
the nearest approach to them possible ; 
but these must have an ideal and a 
meaning, or there can be no science. 
Science is not manipulation, but the 
thinking that accompanies it, and the 
theory or view that is established by it. 
Under the rigid rule laid down by the 
writer, the giant intellects who have 
made the epochs of science could never 
have got a hearing. Copernicus, Gali- 
leo, Columbus, Newton, Harvey, Du- 
fay, Young, and Dalton, are known to 

the world as thinkers, and have gained 
immortality in science, and guided the 
multitude of lesser men by their theo- 
ries. Faraday remarks that the world 
little knows how many conjectures and 
hypotheses, which arise in the minds of 
philosophers, are crushed by the sever- 
ity of their own adverse criticism ; but 
the world does know something of the 
number of theories that are submitted to 
the tribunal of science, and are crushed 
by the adverse criticism there encoun- 
tered. Are these efforts of theory, 
therefore, in either case, to be inter- 
dicted or discouraged ? Our corre- 
spondent has little patience with the- 
ories, but they are the measure of 
mental activity and the essential form 
of its scientific expression, as their inex- 
orable testing is the measure of sound 
scientific method. There may be peril 
in theorizing, as there is in steam, but 
it is the condition of getting on ; and, 
because brakes are useful, let us not 
put out the fires. 

If there is more theorizing now 
than ever before, it is because there is 
far more extensive scientific activity. 
There is, indeed, greater demand for it 
now than ever, for the numbers of ob- 
servers and experimenters who either 
cannot think or are afraid to think 
have greatly multiplied in recent years, 
increasing the mass of observations and 
fragmentary results, which can only t be 
organized into accepted theory by the 
highest order of minds. Generaliza- 
tions and inductions which bind up 
isolated facts in manageable form, and 
which constitute the very texture of sci- 
ence, are only to be arrived at by think- 
ing and theorizing. And with the mul- 
titude of men thoroughly trained in 
all departments, and sharpened to the 
work of criticism, there is certainly 
less danger now than ever that worth- 
less theories should gain the ascend- 

The hypothesis, that in future sci- 
ence can suffer no damage save from 
enemies in its own household, we ven- 



ture to think, represents but a small 
portion of the pertinent facts. Much 
has undoubtedly been gained by past 
conflict; astronomers are no longer im- 
prisoned, and physiologists no longer 
roasted. But have ignorance and in- 
tolerance been banished from the world ? 
or, remaining in it, have they lost their 
aggressiveness or their influence over 
men's minds ? Have they, in fact, done 
more than change weapons ? "We grant 
that the antagonism to science has great- 
ly diminished within recent years; but, 
to say that science has now to encoun- 
ter no external adverse influences which 
affect its prosperity, is to talk at ran- 
dom. The world is still dominated by 
illiberality and prejudice; and when 
science puts forth ideas that do not 
square with prevailing belief, as, from 
its progressive nature, it has always 
been doing, and must continue to do, 
it is met with anger and denunciation, 
which it requires no little moral courage 
to withstand. It cannot reasonably be 
claimed that such a state of things is 
without influence upon scientific inter- 
ests. It represses the honest and healthy 
expression of opinion ; it checks young 
men from entering the scientific field ; 
it resists scientific education ; and it 
hinders men of science from obtaining 
the necessary means for prosecuting 
their inquiries. 

Even our correspondent puts Science 
upon its good behavior before a cen- 
sorious world. He affirms that she 
may incur damage, and is exposed to 
danger from her enemies, but these 
evils, it is alleged, can only come from 
"contamination" and "debauchery" 
by her own partisans. And what is 
meant by this language, but the pro- 
mulgation of doctrines that her ene- 
mies regard as odious? Stop a hun- 
dred men in the street, and ask them 
what they consider to be the great con- 
tamination and debauchery of science 
at the present time, and ninety-nine of 
them will reply, " Darwinism" the 
first item in our correspondent's new 

"Nicene Creed." This is the verdict 
of public opinion. But we open the 
new volume of Helmholtz, who is prob- 
ably the most eminent and authorita- 
tive scientist in Europe, and, in his lect- 
ure on the "Aims and Progress of 
Physical Science," we read that "Dar- 
win's theory contains an essentially 
new creative thought." This is the 
verdict of science. Is the great Ger- 
man one who brings discredit upon his 
class by thinking instead of knowing ? 
and is the party which characterizes 
the creative conceptions of Nature as 
degradations, to be accepted as the 
arbiter of the proper limits of science ? 
We remain of opinion that scientific 
men are the best judges of the legiti- 
macy of their own inquiries, and that 
they will honor themselves most by the 
bold and fearless prosecution of these 
inquiries, let them lead wherever they 


A book entitled "Youman's Dic- 
tionary of Every -Day "Wants " is being 
extensively circulated by canvassers, 
and I am much annoyed at finding that 
it is purchased under the impression 
that it is by the Editor of The Popular 
Science Monthly, and the author of 
the "Hand -Book of Household Sci- 
ence," " Chemistry," etc. I am neither 
the author of it, nor have I had any 
thing to do with its preparation; and, 
in so far as my name has been used to 
sell it, it is a fraud. It will be an act 
of justice to the public, as well as to 
myself, if the press will kindly repro- 
duce this card. E. L. Youmans. 


Lessons in Elementary Anatomy. By Rt. 
George Mivart, F. R. S., etc. Macmillan 
& Co., London and New York, 1873. 

This is a companion volume to Huxley's 
" Lessons in Physiology " and Oliver's 
" Lessons in Botany," and is devoted mainly 
to a description of the human body, with 



only so much of the anatomy of the lower 
animals as will serve to illustrate the varia- 
tions which corresponding organs exhibit 
in the inferior vertebrates. The first chap- 
ter begins with a general survey of the 
structure of the human body. This is 
followed by a brief account of the clas- 
sification of animals, in which the author, 
adopting the more modern views, names 
seven sub-kingdoms, illustrating each with 
the figure of some typical form. The char- 
acters, more or less common to all animals, 
man included, are next pointed out, when 
leave is taken of the invertebrates, and a 
consideration of the principal subdivisions 
of the group or sub-kingdom to which man 
belongs closes the chapter. The six suc- 
ceeding chapters, or lessons, taking up in 
all 218 pages of the book, are upon the 
skeleton, wherein the various systems of 
bones are treated, each being described, 
first, as it is developed in man, and then as 
it appears in homologous parts of other 
vertebrates. The reasons given by the au- 
thor for allotting so much space to this 
dry subject are: "1. The general resem- 
blance borne by the skeleton to the exter- 
nal form. 2. The close connection between 
the arrangement of the skeleton and that 
of the nervous system, muscles, and ves- 
sels. 3. The relations borne by the skele- 
ton of each animal to the actions it per- 
forms, i. e., to the mode of life and habits 
of the various animals. 4. The obvious 
utility of the skeleton in classification and 
the interpretation of affinity. 5. Parts of 
the skeleton or casts of such are all we pos- 
sess of a vast number of animals formerly 
existing in the world, but now entirely ex- 
tinct ; a good knowledge of the skeleton 
must, therefore, be of great utility to those 
interested in pateontology." Lesson eight, 
occupying the next 64 pages, is on the 
muscles, which are dealt with in the same 
manner as the bones that is, they are first 
described as they exist in man, the more 
important deviations from this type in other 
vertebrate animals being afterward pointed 
out. The same method is pursued in the 
four remaining lessons, which are on the 
nervous, circulatory, alimentary, and excre- 
tory systems, respectively. 

The book closes with a tabulated sum- 
mary, first, of the characters which distin- 

guish man from the animals belonging to 
the four lower classes of the vertebrate sub- 
kingdom ; and, second, of the characters 
which separate him from all other mam- 
mals. The volume is clearly printed, has a 
very full index, and, on the whole, seems 
well suited to the use of teachers and oth- 
ers who already know something of the 
subject. But for beginners we doubt its 
utility, as it is altogether too technical to 
be attractive to them, and too closely writ- 
ten to be readily grasped by minds unfa- 
miliar with this class of subjects. 

Antiquities of the Southern Indians, 
particularly of the georgia tribes. 
By Charles C. Jones, Jr. New York : 
D. Appleton & Co., 1873. 

This work is devoted to a consideration 
of the monuments, relics, and ancient cus- 
toms of the aboriginal population formerly 
inhabiting that portion of the United States 
which is now comprised within the limits 
of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, 
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Ten- 
nessee. The antiquities of Georgia receive 
special attention, for with them the author 
is most familiar. But, as all the tribes oc- 
cupying the territories indicated above had 
almost identical customs and arts, what ap- 
plies to one section will apply to all, as the 
author well shows. We think, however, 
that he ought to have made an exception 
of the Natchez, who were sun-worshippers, 
and, in virtue of that higher grade of fe- 
tichistic religion, raised considerably above 
the neighboring tribes. But the author has 
no ambition to philosophize about the re- 
ligious or cultural status of the extinct peo- 
ples whose memorials he has exhumed. He 
simply narrates what he has seen, citing 
here and thei - e the notes of ancient and 
modern travellers to show the purpose of an 
artificial mound, 01' moat, or plateau, or the 
meaning of an outlandish ceremony, etc. 

The first three or four chapters of the 
work give an account of the habitat, the 
physical characteristics, manners and cus- 
toms, and arts of the Southern Indians, at 
the period when first they came in contact 
with men of European race, and particular 
attention is bestowed upon their costume, 
manufactures, ornaments, games, festivals, 
marital relations, forms of government, re- 



ligrous ideas, and funeral customs. The re- 
mainder of the book, and its larger portion, 
classifies and describes very fully the va- 
rious monuments of early constructive skill, 
implements, utensils, ornaments, and manu- 
factures of these primitive tribes. 

The illustrations consist of 31 plates and 
several woodcuts of objects mostly in the 
author's private collection, which are here 
figured for the first time. 

The Childhood of the World. By Ed- 
ward Clodd. London and New York : 
Macmillan, 1873. 

This is, we believe, the first book of its 
kind that has ever been published, at least 
in English a primer of anthropology and 
archaeology, giving the results of advanced 
modern science, and intended for the in- 
struction of young children. It is written 
in attractive style, and is sure to gratify the 
young folk. The author contrives to con- 
vey a very large amount of information in 
very small space and in very simple lan- 
guage ; he can simplify without debasing, 
and can instruct the young, without ever 
resorting to unworthy tricks or making 
drafts on their credulity, which maturer 
years would lead them to discount. The 
paper, print, and binding of the book, are 
all that could be desired. 

The Mechanism of the Ossicles of the 
Ear and Membrana Tympani. By H. 
Helmholtz. Translated from the Ger- 
man, with the author's permission, by 
.Albert G. Buck and Normand Smith. 
New York : Win. Wood and Co., 1873. 

In this little work Dr. Helmholtz comes 
before the world bringing the results of his 
own observation, and, as a matter of course, 
he pours a flood of light upon the subject 
which he treats. The essay is intended for 
professional men, and for students familiar 
with physiological science, and both these 
classes of readers will find here the only 
treatise in any language which discusses 
fully the anatomical, physiological, and 
mathematical aspects of the matter in 


Logic of Medicine. By Edward S. Dun- 
ster, M. D. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 

The Criminal Use of Proprietary and 
Advertised Nostrums. By Ely Van de War- 
ker, M. D. New York : D. Appleton & Co., 

The Short-Footed Ungulata of the Eocene 
of Wyoming. By Edward D. Cope. 

Criminal Responsibility of Epileptics. 
By M. G. Echeverria, M. D. 

New Method of preserving Tumors, etc., 
during Transportation. By Joseph G. Rich- 
ardson, M. D. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 

Mechanism of the Ossicles of the Ear 
and Membrana Tympani. By H. Helmholtz. 
New York: William Wood & Co., 1873. 

The Scientific Bases of Faith. By Jo- 
seph John Murphy, Author of " Habit and 
Intelligence." London and New York : 
Macmillan, 1873. 

The Unity of Law ; as exhibited in the 
Relations of Physical, Social, Mental, and 
Moral Science. By H. C. Carey. Philadel- 
phia : Henry C. Baird, 1873. 

The Romance of Astronomy. By H. 
Kalley Miller, M. A. London and New 
York : Macmillan, 1873. 

The Childhood of the World ; a Simple 
Account of Man in Early Times. By Ed- 
ward Clodd, F. R. A. S. London and New 
York : Macmillan, 1873. 

The Sanitarian. A Monthly Journal. 
A. N. Bell, M. D., Editor. New York : A. 
S. Barnes & Co., 1873. $3.00 per annum. 

Prayer and the Prayer-Gauge. By Rev. 
Mark Hopkins, D. D. Albany : Weed, Par- 
sons & Co., 1873. 

The Upper Coal-Measures west of the 
Alleghany Mountains. By John J. Steven- 
son. Salem, Mass., 1873. 


Action of Dronxlit and fold on Forest- 
Trees. In an able paper on the manner in 
which the distribution of plants and ani- 
mals may be influenced by extraordinary 
changes in the character of the seasons, 
published in the American Naturalist for 
November last, Prof. N. S. Shaler attributes 
the wide-spread destruction of evergreen 



trees, which became so painfully apparent 
during the previous spring, to the action of 
drought and cold. The year preceding 
was, in New England, one of the dryest on 
record, the ground, when winter set in, hold- 
ing a comparatively small amount of moist- 
ure. This left the roots of trees deficient 
in sap. Not being well protected by snow, 
the ground in winter was frozen to a great 
depth, and, as the frost left the roots in 
spring, they remained for some time in con- 
tact with relatively dry earth, thus causing 
a shock too great for their vitality to with- 
stand. During the succeeding summer 
Prof. Shaler also observed a remarkable 
scarcity of snakes and toads, which he is 
likewise inclined to ascribe to the great se- 
verity of the previous winter. Concerning 
the effect of such climatic accidents on the 
character of our forests, he says : 

" Small as the destruction of forest-trees 
is, it will doubtless add several per cent, to 
the deciduous trees of New England, and 
remove an equal amount of conifers. The 
conifers seem to be relics of an old time, 
and not competent to wage a successful 
war with their younger and more elastic 
competitors, the oaks, beeches, and other 
deciduous trees. Every gap that is made 
in our forests of cone-bearing species is 
filled not with their legitimate successors, 
but by forms from the other class of trees. 
Let us suppose that the shock of the last 
season had been great enough to kill off 
the whole of our pines, the result would 
have been a complete change in the charac- 
ter of our forests ; oaks generally would 
take the vacant place. This would affect 
the character of the undergrowth very ma- 
terially, for the lesser plants of a pine-wood 
are very different from those which 'flourish 
beneath oaks. This would have had a very 
great effect upon insect-life, and more or 
less directly influenced the number and 
character of the birds and the mammals. 
Even the climate would be in some small 
measure influenced, for a pine-forest retains 
the snow better than one which loses its 
leaves in the winter, and thus tends to secure 
a more equable temperature in the region 
where it lies. Thus we see that an acciden- 
tal drought might bring about a change in 
the assemblage of vital conditions on the 
surface of the land, as great as those which, 

when recorded in strata, we accept as indi- 
cating distinct geological formations." 

Dental Art among the Japanese. Dr. W. 

St. George Elliott, formerly of this city, now 
at Yokohama, Japan, sends to the Dental 
Cosmos an interesting account of Japan- 
ese habits in regard to teeth, and of the 
state of dentistry in that empire. He says 
that the teeth of the daughters of Japan 
are objects of envy, and it is remarkable 
that a nation who place so much value upon 
their teeth should keep up the custom of 
blacking them after marriage. As a race 
the Japanese have not good teeth, and it Is 
rare to find an old person with any at all. 
Their tooth-brushes consist of tough wood, 
pounded at one end to loosen the fibres. 
They resemble paint-brushes, and owing to 
their shape it is impossible to get one be- 
hind the teeth. As might be expected, 
there is an accumulation of tartar which 
frequently draws the teeth of old people. 
The greatest accumulation is behind the 
lower orals, and these are frequently 
cemented together by a dense, dark-brown 
deposit, a quarter of an inch in thickness. 
Their process of manufacturing false teeth 
is very crude. The plates are made of 
wood, and the teeth consist of tacks driven 
up from the under side. A piece of wax is 
heated, and pressed into the shape of the 
roof of the mouth. It is then taken out 
and hardened by putting it into cold water. 
Another piece of heated wax is applied to 
the impression, and, after being pressed into 
shape, is hardened. A piece of wood is then 
roughly cut into the desired form, and the 
model, having been smeared with red paint, is 
applied to it. Where they touch each other 
a mark is left by the paint. This is cut 
away until they touch evenly all over. 
Shark's-teeth, bits of ivory, or stone, for 
teeth, are set into the wood and retained in 
position by being strung on a thread which 
is secured at each end by a peg driven into 
the hole where the thread makes its exit 
from the base. Iron or copper tacks are 
driven into the ridge to serve for masticat- 
ing purposes, the unequal wear of the 
wood and metal keeping up the desired 
roughness. Their full sets answer admira- 
bly for the mastication of food, but, as they 
do not improve the looks, they are worn 



but little for ornament. The ordinary ser- 
vice of a set of teeth is about five years, 
but they frequently last much longer. All 
full upper sets are retained by atmospheric 
pressure. This principle is coeval with the 
art. In Japan, dentistry exists only as a 
mechanical trade, and the status of those 
who practice it is not very high. It is, in 
fact, graded with the carpenters their 
word hadyikfsan meaning tooth-carpenter. 

Vegetable Ivory. The kernel of the 
corrozzo-nut so closely resembles ivory as 
to merit the title of vegetable ivory. The 
plant {Phytclephas macrocarpa) which pro- 
duces this nut belongs to the palm-tribe. 
It grows in South America, and possesses 
extraordinary beauty. The stem is short, 
and lies along the ground, but from its 
crown issues a sheaf of light-green, pinnated 
leaves, like ostrich-plumes, which often at- 
tain a height of 30 or 40 feet. The fruit 
of the plant is as large as a man's head, 
and contains a number of nuts of rough, 
triangular shape, each being almost as large 
as a hen's-egg. When fully ripe, the kernel 
of the nut is very hard and white, and hence 
the name phytelephas {vegetable ivory). This 
is now largely used as a substitute for ele- 
phant ivory, in the manufacture of buttons 
and various ornaments, and might easily 
pass for the animal product. Indeed, the 
best judges are often deceived by the close 
resemblance between the two. Advantage 
is taken of this circumstance in Germany 
by dealers in bone-dust to adulterate their 
wares with the waste of the factories where 
the vegetable ivory is manufactured. The 
best mode of detecting the adulteration is 
to burn the suspected article. If it contains 
any considerable amount of the vegetable 
substance, the application of heat will cause 
it to give out an odor much like that of 
roasting coffee ; but, if it is pure bone-dust, 
or nearly so, it will emit a nauseous and 
very disagreeable stench. 

Coloring Matter in Blood. A writer in 
Virchow's Archiv finds in blood two dis- 
tinct coloring-matters. One of these is 
readily soluble in water and alcohol, but 
not so readily in ether. When dry it has a 
dark, greenish-brown color, and is carbon- 
ized on the application of heat, without 

ebullition. The ash is strongly colored 
with iron, and contains phosphoric and 
silicic acids, and a trace of alkali. It does 
not yield hemin-crystals under any treat- 
ment. With guaiacum-tincture and turpen- 
tine-oil it gives the well-known blue color, 
and under the spectroscope is found to pos- 
sess the characters attributed to alkaline 
oxyhematin by Preyer. It appears to be 
identical with Von Wittich's hematin. The 
other coloring-matter consists of dark, blue- 
black microscopic crystals, insoluble in 
water, alcohol, ether, chloroform, and acids, 
but soluble in weak alkaline solutions, to 
which they give a brownish tint. If it be 
then precipitated by acetic acid, and dried, 
it will, on being treated with sal-ammoniac 
and glacial acetic acid, yield beautiful he- 
min-crystals. When reduced to an ash, it 
consists of pure oxide of iron. It seems to 
be identical with Virchow's hematoidin. 

Elimination of Carbonic Acid by the 
Skin. The amount of carbonic acid given 
out of the system through the skin in man 
has been variously estimated by physiolo- 
gists ; but, as their methods of determina- 
tion were all more or less defective, it ia 
not surprising that their results should dif- 
fer very considerably from one another. 
Thus Reinhard's estimate makes the av- 
erage daily elimination of carbonic acid 
through the skin about 35 grains, while 
Gerlach makes it 120 grains ; other authori- 
ties ranging* all along between these two 
extremes. A special apparatus has been 
devised by Dr. Aubert, of Rostock, for more 
accurately ascertaining the amount of this 
excretion. He seats a person within a 
box, which fits lightly around the neck, 
and through which a gentle current of air 
is passed. Dr. Aubert, in this way, finds 
that in the course of 24 hours a maximum 
of 97 and a minimum of 35| grains of car- 
bonic acid are eliminated by the skin of 
the whole body, exclusive of the head. Va- 
riations of temperature will of course affect 
the amount of carbonic acid thus excreted. 
In the experiment, the external temperature 
wa3 about 86 Fahr. 

Remarkable Diamonds. A diamond waa 
recently discovered, at the Cape of Good 
Hope, which weighs 288 carats. This the 



Builder calls enormous, and accordingly 
christens the new stone " Queen of Dia- 
monds." But the Builder is plainly in 
error here, for there are many diamonds 
which weigh far more. Thus, the Grand 
Mogul is the owner of a rose-diamond 
which, in the rough state, weighed 780-J- 
carats. It lost very largely in the cutting, 
weighing now only 136 carats. It is val- 
ued at over two and a quarter millions of 
dollars. A potentate in Borneo owns a dia- 
mond weighing 367 carats. The " Regent " 
weighed in the rough 410 carats. The " Or- 
loff " weighs 19-tf, and may have weighed 
thrice as much in the rough state. An Aus- 
trian diamond weighs 139^, and, as the 
lapidary cannot cut these stones without 
depriving them of at least half their weight, 
it must have been, in the rough, larger than 
the Cape " Queen." But the name given to 
this newly-found stone will appear still more 
incongruous when we consider its quality. 
A diamond is said to be of the first water 
when it is perfectly limpid and colorless, 
and free from flaws, and of the second or 
third water in proportion as it departs from 
this standard. But this Cape diamond is 
of a yellow color, and marked with flaws 
it is, therefore, not of the first water, and 
would in all probability be classed by the 
lapidary as of the third water. 

Production of Sea-Salt in Portngal. 

The salines of Portugal, at Setubal, Lisbon, 
Aveiro, and Algarve, yield annually 250,000 
tons of sea-salt. According to Prof. Wau- 
klyn, in the Mechanics' Magazine, the pro- 
cess of manufacture at the first-named place 
is as follows : There is a vast reservoir of 
about four acres in extent, eight inches deep, 
and partitioned into squares of about 130 
yards in surface. Roads, three feet wide, 
separate the squares, and the latter all com- 
municate with the main reservoir of sea- 
water. In autumn the whole salt marsh is 
overflowed to the depth of 20 inches. This 
water evaporates in the spring, the roads 
appearing above the surface in June. Then 
the tanks are cleaned out, and afterward 
left to themselves, and recharged from time 
to time with new supplies of water. In 20 
days a layer of salt over one inch thick is 
found. This, the first crop, is collected, 
and the tanks filled again. In 20 days an- 

other crop is gathered. If the season is 
favorable, three crops may thus be col- 
lected before September, when the marsh is 
flooded for the winter. 

Controlling Sex in Butterflies. The 
America?). Naturalist for March contains an 
admirable essay by Mrs. Mary Treat, in 
which she brings a long array of facts to 
prove that the sex of butterflies depends, 
in some cases at least, rather upon the ex- 
ternal conditions surrounding the larva, or 
caterpillar, than on its anatomical structure. 
The results of the author's experiments con- 
tradict the doctrine of most entomologists, 
which asserts that even in the eggs of the 
Lepidopiera the germs of sexual difference 
may be discerned. The editor of the Natu- 
ralist quotes from several authorities, to 
show that, in the case of all animals which 
reproduce by eggs, the sex is probably de- 
termined at or about the time of concep- 
tion, or at least early in the embryonic stage. 
Mr. T. W. Wonfor also, writing on " Certain 
Wingless Insects," in Harduiicke for March, 
asserts that the very same conditions, viz., 
lack of abundant food, or alternations of 
scanty and bountiful food, which, according 
to Mrs. Treat's experiments, determine the 
sex of the future imago, or butterfly, tend 
only to " produce dwarfs or monstrosities." 
The writer in Harduiicke, we may add, holds 
that no sex-difference is discernible either 
in the eggs or in the lame. Mrs. Treat's 
observations and experiments, it will be 
seen, were very thoroughgoing and very 
carefully conducted, and will, doubtless, at- 
tract the earnest attention of naturalists. 
Some two years ago Mrs. Treat placed a 
larva, which had already taken some steps 
toward the chrysalis state, upon a fresh stem 
of caraway, and was surprised to see it 
commence eating. It then continued to 
eat for some days before changing to a 
chrysalis. She next placed a number of 
other larvae on similar stems of caraway, 
while still others she deprived of food alto- 
gether. Those of the last lot which com- 
pleted their transformations were all males, 
and all the butterflies from the first lot were 

The next experiment was commenced in 
June last. In July the author had about 
two hundred larvae feeding at once. Im- 



mediately after the last moult, a number of 
these were shut up in paper boxes, five to 
ten in a box, and deprived of food. If, two 
or three days after confinement in the boxes, 
any of the larvae were found wandering 
about, they were fed very sparingly. Near- 
ly all of them lived to complete their trans- 
formations. Another lot were, in like man- 
ner, put in boxes, but supplied with abun- 
dant food. From the latter came sixty- 
eight females and only four males ; from 
the former seventy-six males and only three 
females. Five larvae that were eating vig- 
orously were also taken from their food a 
day or two before they would have been 
sated. Of these, four turned out females. 

Another experiment was this: Soon 
after the last moult, twenty larvae were de- 
prived of food for twenty-four hours. Then 
ten of them were given abundant food again, 
as long as they would eat. One of these 
met its death by accident in the chrysalis 
state, but all the rest became female but- 
terflies. Of the other ten, two died in the 
chrysalis state ; the remainder were males. 

Again: Some twenty half-grown larvae 
of the Vanessa antiopa were accidentally 
deprived of food. Twelve of them died of 
starvation, but the remainder completed 
their transformations. On dissection, these 
eight all proved to be males. The indefati- 
gable student pushed her investigations fur- 
ther still, for, having found thirty-three lar- 
vae of an unfamiliar species, she fed them 
abundantly, till they would eat no more. 
The rare and beautiful moth Dn/ocampa 
rubicunda made its appearance in due time, 
and there were twenty-nine females and 
only two males, the remaining two having 
either escaped or died. Finally, a lot of 
the same species of caterpillars were left 
without food. Some of them were killed 
by a parasite, others died of starvation, and 
the seven which survived were all males. 

Hydrophobia and the Imagination. The 

period of time which elapses between the 
bite of a rabid animal and the appearance 
of hydrophobic symptoms varies over a 
very wide range indeed. The disorder sel- 
dom makes its appearance earlier than the 
eighth clay after inoculation (if inoculation 
there be) ; or, again, the virus may be hid- 
den in the wound for weeks, months, or 

even years. Physicians say that, in most 
cases, hydrophobia manifests itself in from 
four to eight weeks after the bite, though 
there are many authentic cases where the 
period of incubation extended over eight or 
nine months, and in one instance even as 
long as seven years. In this term incuba- 
tion is implied an hypothesis gratuitously 
assumed, and scarcely susceptible of direct 
demonstration. It is found that a patient 
bitten by a rabid animal passes a certain 
length of time without manifesting hydro- 
phobic symptoms, and it is supposed that 
the germs of the disease have been slowly 
maturing. But, as there is no other disease 
whose period of incubation is so long or so 
varying in duration, the hypothesis which 
traces hydrophobia to animal virus finds 
no foundation in analogy, and is conse- 
quently very weak. 

It is, therefore, very natural that medi- 
cal men should begin to study the whole 
question anew, and attempt other explana- 
tions of this disease. Thus, Dr. D. H. 
Tuke, whose paper on the " Blanching of 
the Hair" appeared in our December num- 
ber, has lately published a work on the 
" Influence of the Mind upon the Body," 
and there supports the proposition that hy- 
drophobia is produced solely by the action 
of the imagination. The author cites cases 
where, beyond all doubt, hydrophobic 
symptoms were developed without inocula- 
tion. A notable instance is that of a phy- 
sician of Lyons, named Chomel, who, hav- 
ing aided in the dissection of several vic- 
tims of the disorder, imagined that he had 
been inoculated with the virus. On at- 
tempting to drink, he was seized with 
spasm of the pharynx, and in this condi- 
tion roamed about the streets for three 
days. At length his friends succeeded in 
convincing him of the groundlessness of his 
apprehensions, and he at once recovered. 
Rush also tells of cases of spontaneous hy- 
drophobia, which arose from no other cause 
but fear and association of ideas. 

A German physician, too, Dr. Marx, of 
Gottingen, as we learn from the Clinic, is 
disposed to take this view of hydrophobia, 
and to regard it as a psychical affection, the 
result of morbid excitement of the imagi- 
nation. He is of the opinion that the bite 
of a mad dog does not, of itself, produce 



the symptoms of hydrophobia, and that, 
were it not for the common belief in canine 
virus, the spasms and other manifestations 
of the disease would not supervene. This 
view is confirmed by the fact that young 
children, who are not acquainted with the 
common belief as to hydrophobia, may be 
bitten by mad dogs and escape spasms and 
madness. He adds : 

" If we are able, as in olden times, and 
in the case of children, to instruct or induce 
men to be perfectly quiet after they are bit- 
ten by a rabid dog, not to tremble or be 
frightened, but to banish anxiety, to control 
their imagination, and, with patience and 
hope, to look forward to recovery, and also 
to persuade the well to remain with the un- 
fortunate one, and not to run away, but to 
cheer him in the hour of trial, then the 
means may have been discovered by which 
the effects of the accident are to be ban- 
ished, and the poison in the wound neutral- 

Odorous and Liqncfiablc Gases: what 
Gases may be liquefied. A writer in the 
Pharmaceutical Journal notes a remarkable 
relation between the odor of gases and their 
reducibility to the liquid or solid state. 
Thus oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, which 
have no odor, cannot be reduced either by 
pressure or by cold. On the other hand, 
chlorine, which has a very strong odor, is 
easily condensed to a liquid. Again, the 
protoxide of carbon, being odorless, cannot 
be condensed, while the dioxide or carbonic 
acid, which has a faint, pleasant, and pun- 
gent odor, can be reduced to a liquid, and 
even to a solid state. Nitrous and nitric 
oxide, the latter of which is odorless, show 
similar phenomena. An exception to the 
general rule, that gases which are odorous 
are condensible, is furnished by acetylene, 
which, though having a faint garlic smell, 
has never been condensed. Usually con- 
densability stands in a direct ratio to the 
strength of the odor possessed by a gas. 
Thus, sulphurous acid, which has a most 
intense odor, becomes a liquid under a 
pressure of two atmospheres, at 15 Fahr., 
while nitrous oxide, which has but a faint 
smell, requires fifty atmospheres, and a 
temperature of 7.2 F. A few gases hav- 
ing a fetid odor are exceptions to this law, 

but it holds good so generally, that a list of 
gases, arranged according to their reduci- 
bility, and another list arranged according 
to their properties of smell, will show a 
rough though marked coincidence. 

The Spectroscope and the Bessemer Pro- 
cess. Prof. Tidy, in a lecture on the spec- 
troscope, thus briefly describes its impor- 
tant practical application in the Bessemer 
process : " Cast-iron contains a great amount 
of carbon, and in the Bessemer process this 
carbon is got rid of by burning it out of the 
molten iron with a blast of atmospheric air. 
The fluid cast-iron is placed in a large re- 
tort lined with refractory clay. This retort, 
the converter as it is called, turns on a pivot. 
Through the pivot a tube passes in connec- 
tion with a very powerful blowing apparatus, 
by which air can be blown into the molten 
iron. That air burns out the carbon, the 
heated gases issuing as a flame from the 
converter. Now, it is very important to 
stop that blowing process directly the time 
arrives. Ten seconds too soon, or ten sec- 
onds too late, and the charge is spoilt. Ex- 
perience, I grant you, does guide the work- 
er, but experience is a costly thing ; and 
this I am confident of: laud experience as 
you will, it will not weigh down the scale 
when we have in the opposite pan exact 
scientific experiment. The Bessemer flame, 
as it issues from the converter, is examined 
by the aid of the spectroscope. Numerous 
substances are visible sodium, potassium, 
iron, hydrogen, carbon, etc. All of a sud- 
den, in a second, the carbon-lines disap- 
pear, and that is the moment when the air- 
blast must be turned off, for now the carbon 
is burnt away, and the iron is converted." 

New Material for Illuminating Gas. Le 

Gaz, the gas-light journal of Paris, calls the 
attention of the directors of gas-works to a 
new illuminating material, vegetable pitch. 
This material is made by the Patent Oil and 
Stearine Company, of England, from the 
residues of the manufacture of olive, palm, 
cocoa, and other oils. In England it is 
widely used, being employed in gas-works 
in connection with coal, with a view to aug- 
ment the volume of gas, as well as its illu- 
minating power. The London Gas-light Com- 
pany constantly employs it, mixing it in 


2 55 

certain proportions with the coal, and the 
Gas Company of the Crystal Palace uses 
this material only, to produce a rich gas. 
The pitch is solid and glistening, and distils 
very rapidly in the common gas-retorts, 
leaving scarcely any residue. In case a large 
amount of gas is required to be furnished 
in a very short time, this property of rapid 
distillation is of high importance. Its yield 
of gas is said to be very considerable, being 
765 to 850 cubic metres (830 to 930 cubic 
yards) to the ton. The illuminating power 
of this gas is equal to that of 33 sperm- 
candles, 5 to the pound. It is too rich to 
be used with the ordinary burner. It is 
best employed to enrich gas made from in- 
ferior coals. It contains scarcely any sul- 
phur 0.87 per cent. The analysis of the 
pitch is as follows : Volatile matter, 74.40 ; 
fixed carbon, 21.72; ashes, 3.88. 

Antiquity of Man. The following letter 
from Sir John Lubbock appeared in Nature 
for the 27th of March: "I have received a 
letter from Mr. Edmund Calvert, in which 
he informs me that his brother, Mr. Frank 
Calvert, has recently discovered, near the 
Dardanelles, what he regards as conclusive 
evidence of the existence of man during the 
Miocene period. Mr. Calvert had previous- 
ly sent me some drawings of bones and 
shells from the strata in question, which 
Mr. Busk and Mr. Gwyn Jeffreys were good 
enough to examine for me. He has now 
met with a fragment of a bone, probably 
belonging either to the dinotherium or a 
mastodon, on the convex side of which is 
engraved a representation of a horned quad- 
ruped 'with arched neck, lozenge-shaped 
chest, long body, straight fore-legs, and 
broad feet.' There are also, he says, traces 
of seven or eight other figures, which, how- 
ever, are nearly obliterated. He informs 
me that in the same stratum he has also 
found a flint flake, and several bones broken 
as if for the extraction of marrow. This 
discovery would not only prove the exist- 
ence of man in Miocene times, but of men 
who had already made some progress, at 
least, in art. Mr. Calvert assures me that 
he feels no doubt whatever as to the geo- 
logical age of the stratum from which these 
specimens are obtained. Of course I am 
not in a position myself to express any 

opinion on the subject, but I am sure that 
the statements of so competent an observer 
as Mr. Calvert will interest your readers." 


The population of France, as shown by 
the census, was 38,067,064 in the year 1866. 
The official estimate of annual increase is 
130,078 or, for the seven years ending 
January 1, 1873, 910,546. Total, 38,977,610. 
But the actual census gave only 36,102,921, 
showing a loss of 2,874,689. Deduct the of- 
ficial estimate of Alsace-Lorraine, 1,595,238, 
and the remainder, 1,279,451, represents 
the decline of population during seven years. 
The excess of females over males is now 100 
per cent, greater than ever before. 

The epileptiform convulsions excited by 
the internal administration of essence of 
wormwood, and Japan camphor, may, ac- 
cording to recent experiments in France, be 
effectually prevented by the use of bromide 
of potassium. This is regarded as addi- 
tional evidence of the value of the bromide 
in the treatment of epilepsy. 

The medical officer having under super- 
vision the schools for pauper children in 
three of the parishes of London reports that, 
among those admitted, from thirty to forty 
per cent, are afflicted with ophthalmia in 
some of its stages, and that bringing the 
children together in this way concentrates 
and favors the spread of the disease. The 
immediate cause of the affection in most of 
these cases is held to be the dirt and dust 
of the streets which is allowed to accumu- 
late at the inner corner of the eye, where it 
forms a semi-solid mass which irritates and 
inflames the lids. 

Died, in Jersey City, on Sunday, March 
9th, Charles F. Dcrant, aged 68 years. 
Deceased was a diligent student of science, 
and some years since published a valuable 
work on the " Shells and Sea-Weeds of the 
Harbor of New York." He was also the 
author of a work on astronomy, which was 
printed for circulation among scientific men. 
In 1833 Mr. Durant made the first balloon 
ascension ever made in this country. His 
aerial voyages numbered in all fifteen. 

Petroleum has been found in large 
quantities in Ecuador. Wells have been 
sunk at various points between the sulphur- 
ous springs of San Vicente and the sea-shore. 
In some of these the petroleum is fluid, like 
whale-oil, but in others it has the consist- 
ence of butter. In the upper part of some 
of the wells it can be seen in hard, compact 
masses, which probably have been formed 
by the evaporation of the more liquid por- 



Mr. William Yates hag made the fol- 
lowing important modifications in the Davy 
lamp : He dispenses with wire gauze im- 
mediately around the flame, replacing it in 
front with a strong lens, and behind with a 
silver reflector. The miner cannot raise the 
flame so high as to heat the gauze, and, if 
he would open the lamp, to light his pipe, 
he is foiled, for that cannot be done, with- 
out extinguishing the flame. 

A correspondent of the Lancet tells of a 
hen laying a pair of eggs of good average 
size within the space of ten minutes. The 
same writer found in his poultry-yard a 
double egg, or two eggs combined. This is 
not a case of merely double yelk within 
one shell, which is common enough, but of 
two complete eggs, with separate shells en- 
tire, except at the points of contact. 

In Russia the sunflower is cultivated 
for the oil which it yields. This oil is used 
in cooking as well as for lamps, for soap- 
making, and for making paints. Fifty bushels 
of seed may easily be grown on an acre of 

At a recent meeting of the French Acad- 
emy a magnet was exhibited by M. Jamin 
which carries more than thirty-two times 
its own weight, whereas the greatest carry- 
ing power hitherto obtainable in artificial 
magnets has been not above four or five 
times their weight. Instead of the thick 
plates usually employed, M. Jamin's mag- 
net is made up of a number of very thin 
plates superposed on each other, and all 
thoroughly magnetized. By this contrivance 
the volume and weight of magneto-electric 
machines can be very considerably reduced. 

It has been shown by M. Berard that, 
when fruits are set in the open air or in 
oxygen gas, a certain volume of oxygen dis- 
appears, and at the same time a nearly equal 
volume of carbonic-acid gas appears in its 
place. If, however, the fruits are placed in 
carbonic acid or any other inert gas, there 
is still produced a notable quantity of car- 
bonic acid, as though by a kind of fermen- 
tation ; and, since, under these conditions, 
the oxygen necessary to the change is not 
furnished by the surrounding medium, it 
must be supplied by the saccharine matter 
of the fruits themselves, a considerable part 
of which is thus transformed into alcohol. 

A French horticulturist has perceived 
that, wherever a fruit a pear, for instance 
rested upon some branch or other sup- 
port beneath it, that fruit always grew to 
a large size. The support given to the fruit 
permits the sap-vessels of the stem to re- 
main open, and the fruit can receive abun- 
dant nourishment. Mr. Thomas Meehan 
made substantially the same observation 
some years ago. 

Eighteen men and 03 women died during 
the past year in England at the age of 100 
years or over. There were still living, when 
the census was taken, 6 men and 22 women, 
100 years old ; 1 man and 14 women, 101 
years ; 3 men and 11 women, 102 years ; 2 
men and 6 women, 103 years ; 5 men and 
1 women, 104 years ; 2 women, 105 years. 
A woman died in Huddersfield at the age 
of 107, and a man in Staffordshire was 108 
years old when he died. 

On the American Continent, the Sequoia, 
or Big Tree of California, can find a con- 
genial home only in a very few localities. In 
England, however, it appears to thrive ad- 
mirably, and various " improved " varieties 
have already made their appearance there. 
The Weeping Sequoia is the latest novelty. 

The ancient Egyptians possessed the 
art of so tempering bronze that it would 
take and keep a sharp edge. Sir Gardiner 
Wilkison found in tombs bronze daggers 
which were almost as elastic as steel, after 
having been buried 3,000 years. 

Nickel ore has been found cropping out 
in the counties of Madison, Iron, and Wayne, 
Missouri; and at Sand Prairie, in the same 
State, a new lead-mine has been discovered. 
The prospectors, says the Iron Age, took 
out 4,000 pounds of the mineral three hours 
after the lead was struck. 

One of the chief potato-growing prov- 
inces of Holland, Groningen, has thirteen 
mills devoted to the conversion of potatoes 
into flour. Nearly the whole crop of the 
province is thus disposed of, the daily yield 
of the mills being some 246 tons of potato- 
flour. A large part of this, according to 
the Glasgow Weekly Herald, is consumed in 
the adulteration of wheat-flour in England. 

According to the French chemist Du- 
mas, the newly-discovered art of decorating 
walls with tin-foil, bearing designs in oil- 
colors, has in a somewhat modified form been 
successfully practised by the Chinese for 
a long time. 

A vein of plumbago, eight feet thick, 
has been discovered in Missouri. This is 
the first deposit of this useful mineral found 
in the West. The vein at Sturbridge, Mass., 
varies in thickness from one inch to two 
feet. There are also plumbago-mines at 
Brandon, Vt., Fishkill, N. Y., Wake, N. C, 
and St. John's, N. B. 

Found post mortem in a lunatic's stomach : 
44 pieces of shirt, 41 do. pocket-handker- 
chief, 10 do. caps, 8 do. braces, 7 do. cham- 
ber-pot handle, 6 do. stick, 5 do. leather, 4 
do. coal, 3 do. stocking, 2 do. rag, 1 do. 
tobacco-pipe, 1 do. iron, 4 pebbles, 1 
knitted cuff, 1 acorn. Total weight, over 
8 lbs. 



JULY, 1873. 


ONE of the most recent and impressive examples of the interac- 
tion of science and art by which knowledge is extended, and 
man's control over Nature increased, is furnished by the late remark- 
able investigations into the depths and life of the sea. The taking of 
soundings is, of course, as old as navigation, and is an indispensable 
portion of the mariner's art. The record of these soundings was em- 
bodied in charts by which sailors were guided in unknown waters. 
As commerce extended, such observations became more full, and re- 
sulted in systematic coast-surveys in which the depth of water, cur- 
rents, magnetic conditions, temperatures, tides, and winds, were taken 
into account, and the knowledge thus accumulated gave rise at length 
to a great science the Physical Geography of the Sea. About 
twenty-five years ago a new step was taken toward the extension of our 
knowledge of sea-depths. Science had given to the world the electric 
telegraph, and commerce demanded that it should be laid across the 
ocean. For this purpose the bed of the North Atlantic required to be 
carefully examined and mapped, and the configuration of the sea-bot- 
tom and the nature of its material determined. This gave a new im- 
pulse to the art of sea-sounding. The transatlantic cable was laid, 
got broken, and the end of it was then fished up from a depth of 
nearly two miles. A great victory was thus gained ; the bottom of 
the sea was no longer inaccessible, and the possibility of its scientific 
exploration became established. Hitherto, sea observations had main 
reference to the advantages of navigation and commerce; but, from 
this time forward, the idea was entertained of pursuing the investiga- 
tion in the interest of science alone. At the instance of the Royal 
Society, the British Admiralty, in 1868, granted a small government 
vessel, the gunboat Lightning, to Dr. William B. Carpenter and Prof. 
Wyville Thomson, to be used for dredging the bottom of the sea, 
and investigating its animal life. So promising were the results of 
vol. m. 17 


this experiment, that a second expedition was arranged in 1869, and 
the government surveying-vessel Porcupine was assigned to the nat- 
uralists to carry on the work. This expedition was also so highly 
successfnl, that the ship Challenger has now started out on a four 
years' voyage around the world to carry out a comprehensive plan of 
deep-sea observations. We noticed very briefly last month the ad- 
mirable work of Prof. Wyville Thomson on " The Depths of the Sea," 
giving a history of what has been lately done in the investigation of 
the subject. We propose now to lay Prof. Thomson's work under 
contribution for the benefit of our readers, and especially to give some 
account of the instruments of ocean-research, and the way the explora- 
tion is conducted. 

It may be remarked, in passing, that, when the dredging of the 
deep seas was found to be feasible, questions of large scientific interest 
and moment, which had been hitherto regarded as inaccessible, were 
suddenly brought within the range of practical solution. It was a 
popular opinion, shared also by men of science, that the bottom of the 
sea was a dark and desolate waste, subject to such tremendous press- 
ure as to render all life impossible. Prof. Thomson observes : " The 
enormous pressure at these great depths seemed at first sight alone suffi- 
cient to put any idea of life out of the question. There was a curious 
popular notion, in which I well remember sharing when a boy, that, in 
going down, the sea-water became gradually under the pressure heavier 
and heavier, and that all the loose things in the sea floated at different 
levels, according to their specific weight : skeletons of men, anchors, 
and shot, and cannon, and, last of all, the broad gold-pieces lost in the 
wreck of many a galleon on the Spanish Main, the whole forming a 
kind of false bottom to the ocean, beneath which there lay all the 
depth of clear, still water, which was heavier than molten gold. The 
conditions of pressure are certainly very extraordinary. At 12,000 
feet a man would bear upon his body a weight equal to 20 locomotive- 
engines, each with a long goods-train loaded with pig-iron. We are 
apt to forget, however, that water is almost imcompressible, and that, 
therefore, the density of sea-water at a depth of 12,000 feet is scarcely 
appreciably increased." 

Contrary to all anticipation, it was found that highly-organized 
representatives of all the invertebrate classes do live under these con- 
ditions of enormous pressure. The bottom of the ocean is, therefore, 
to be regarded as habitable, and is proved to be actually inhabited by 
numberless forms of animal life. A new world was thus opened to 
the naturalist, which, although difficult of access, was yet accessible 
and must be investigated. The pioneers in the exploration of course 
encountered very formidable obstacles ; but the field was too vast 
and the promise too rich to be neglected, and how it was regarded by 
the devotees of research may be gathered from the following words of 
Dr. Thomson : 



Fig. 1. 

" Still the thing is possible, and it must be done again and again, 
as the years pass on, by naturalists of all nations working with im- 
proved machinery and with ever-increased knowledge. For the bed of 
the deep sea, the 140,000,000 
square miles which we have 
now added to the legitimate 
field of natural - history re- 
search, is not a barren waste. 
It is inhabited by a fauna more 
rich and varied on account of 
the enormous extent of the 
area, and with organisms in 
many cases apparently even 
more elaborately ana! delicate- 
ly formed, and more exquisite- 
ly beautiful in their soft shades 
of coloring and in the rain- 
bow-tints of their wonderful 
phosphorescence, than the 
fauna of the well-known belt 
of shallow watei*, teeming 
with innumerable invertebrate 
forms, which fringes the land. 
And the forms of these hith- 
erto unknown living beings, 
and their mode of life and their 
relations to other organisms, 
whether living or extinct, and 
the phenomena and laws of 
their geographical distribu- 
tion, must be worked out." 

There are two principal 
operations in exploring the 
bottom of the ocean : first, 
sounding to ascertain depth ; 
and, second, dredging to bring 
up materials. Although much 
ingenuity has been expended 
in devices to bring up samples 
of the sea-bottom by the sound- 
ing-apparatus, yet dredging 

Brooke's Deep-Sea Sottnding-Appabattts. 

contrivances are now mainly relied upon for that purpose. To deter- 
mine the depth with a sounding-line, it is customary to graduate it by 
attaching slips of different-colored cloths or leather which mark it off 
into sections, and give the means of determining the distance to which 



Fig. 2. 

the weight runs down. Another method of measuring the depth con- 
sisted in running down a weight attached to a line, which was cut at 

the surface as soon as the weight was 
supposed to have reached bottom, from 
a sudden change in the rate of running 
out, and the depth was then calculated 
by the length of cord left on the reel. 

The ordinary system of sounding 
fails at great depths, and cannot be de- 
pended upon for more than 6,000 feet. 
The weight is not sufficient to carry the 
line rapidly and vertically to the bot- 
tom, and, if a heavier weight be used, 
the line is in danger of breaking. No 
impulse is felt when the lead strikes the 
bottom, and the line goes on running 
out, and, if stopped, is liable to break. 
Sometimes the line is carried along by 
submarine currents, forming loops or 
bights, and it often continues to run 
out and coil itself in a tangled mass di- 
rectly over the lead. These sources of 
error vitiate very deep soundings, so 
that the reports that have been made 
of measurements in the Atlantic of 
39,000, 46,000, and 50,000 feet, without 
reaching bottom, are now regarded as 
exaggerations. In the last charts of 
the North Atlantic, on the authority of 
Rear-Admiral Richards, no soundings 
are entered beyond 24,000 feet, and very 
few beyond 18,000 feet. 

The ordinary deep-sea lead, which is 
a prismatic block about two feet in 
length, and from 80 to 120 pounds in 
weight, has a simple provision for bring- 
ing up material from the bottom, which 
is called " arming " that is, the lower 
end, which is slightly cupped, is covered 
with a thick coating of soft tallow. If it 
5 reaches the bottom, mud, shells, gravel, 
21125 ooze, or sand, sticks to the tallow, and, 
when drawn up, affords a sample of the 
nature of the ground. As the interest 
in the bottom of the sea increased, there was a more eager curiosity 
to scrutinize the particles thus procured for chemical and microscopical 

The Bull-dog Sounding-Machine 


examination, and it became desirable to devise means of bringing up 
larger amounts of matter. Many contrivances Lave been made for this 
purpose. Sir John Ross, in 1818, invented a machine for this purpose, 
called the " deep-sea clamm." A large pair of forceps were kept asun- 
der by a bolt, and the instrument was so contrived that, on the bolt 
striking the ground, a heavy iron weight slipped down a spindle and 
closed the forceps, which retained within them a considerable quantity 
of the bottom, whether sand, mud, or small stones. By this arrange- 
ment Sir John Ross brought up six pounds of soft mud from a depth 
of 6,300 feet. 

Fig 3. 

Mabset's Sounding-Machine. 

In the year 1854, J. M. Brooke, passed midshipman in the United 
States Navy, contrived the arrangemeut known as " Brooke's Deep-Sea 
Sounding- Apparatus," of which all the more recent contrivances have 
been to a great extent modifications and improvements, his funda- 



Fig. 4. 

mental principle being the detachment of a weight when the bottom is 
struck. The weight is a 64-pound shot (E, Fig. 1), cast with a hole 
through it. An iron rod (A B) passes through this hole, with an open- 
ing or chamber at the lower end " armed " with tallow. When the in- 
strument strikes, the end of the rod is driven into the material of the 
bottom, which fills the chamber. At the same time a pair of hinged 
arms (D) at the top, which were upright in the descent, fall down and 
release the cord (C), which sustains the ball by a leather collar below. 
As the loops of the sling are relieved from the teeth of the arms, the 
rod slips through the hole in the shot, and comes up alone with its en- 
closed sample of sediment. The difficulty with this machine was the 
washing out of the material in the ascent. This was remedied by 
Commander Dayman, by adapting a valve, opening inward, to the ter- 
minal chamber of the rod. 

In 1860 the assistant engineer of H. M. S. Bull-dog contrived a 
dredging-lead that combined the principle of Ross's clamm with the 
disengaging weight of Brooke. It is an ingenious and well-known 
machine, though hardly as simple as could be desired. Prof. Thom- 
son thus describes it : 

" A pair of scoops (A) close upon one 
another scissors-wise on a hinge, and have 
two pairs of appendages (B), which stand 
to the opening and closing of the scoops in 
the relation of scissor-handles. This ap- 
paratus is permanently attached to the 
sounding-line by the rope (F), which in the 
figure is represented as hanging loose, and 
which is fixed to the spindle on which the 
cups turn. Attached to the same spindle 
is the rope (D), which ends above an iron 
ring. E represents a pair of tumbler-hooks, 
fastened likewise to the end of the sound- 
ing-line ; C a heavy leaden or iron weight, 
with a hole through it wide enough to al- 
low the rope (D) with its loop and ring to 
pass freely ; and B a strong India-rubber 
band, which passes round the handles of 
the scoop3. In the figure the instrument 
is represented as it is sent down and before 
it reaches the bottom. The weight (C) 
and the scoops (A) are now suspended by 
the rope (D), whose ring is caught by the tumbler-hooks (E). The 
elastic ring (B) is in a state of tension, ready to draw together the 
scoop-handles and close the scoops, but it is antagonized by the weight 
(Cj, which, pressing down into a space between the handles, keeps 
them asunder. The moment the scoops are driven into the ground by 

Otho Friedkioh Mclw.b's Dkedgk, 
a. d. 1750. 


the weight, the tension on the rope (D) is relaxed, the tumblers fall 
and release the ring, and the weight falls and allows the elastic band 
to close the scoops and keep them closed upon whatever they may 
contain ; the rope (D) slips through the weight, and the closed scoops 
are drawn up by the rope (F)." 

The attempt has been often made to measure the amount of ver- 
tical descent by self-registering machinery. Massey's sounding-ma- 
chine is the best for this purpose, and operates upon a principle 
of screw-motion as it falls through the water. As represented in Fig. 
3, two thimbles (F F) pass through the two ends of the heavy oval 
brass shield (A A). To the upper of these the sounding-line is at- 
tached, and to the lower the weight at about a yard from the ma- 
chine. The screw-motion is communicated by a set of four brass vanes 
or rings (B), which are soldered obliquely to an axis in such a posi- 
tion that, as the machine descends, the axis revolves by the pressure of 
the water against the vanes. C represents the dial-plate as seen when 
the slide (D) is withdrawn. The revolving axis communicates its mo- 
tion to the indices, which are so adjusted that the index on the right- 
hand dial passes through a division for every fathom of vertical de- 
scent whether quick or slow, and makes an entire revolution for 15 
fathoms ; while the left-hand index passes through a division on the 
circle for 15 fathoms, and makes an entire revolution during a descent 
of 225 fathoms. This instrument answers very well for accurate work 
in moderately deep water ; but at extreme depths it has an uncertainty 
which seems to be shared by all contrivances involving metal wheel- 

The main theatre of sounding operations has been the Atlantic 
Ocean, which, from its relation to the leading commercial nations, and 
for intercontinental telegraphic purposes, has been more carefully sur- 
veyed than any other great body of water. Open from pole to pole, 
participating in all conditions of climate, communicating freely with 
other seas, and covering 30,000,000 square miles, it is believed to rep- 
resent general oceanic conditions, and to contain depths nearly, if not 
quite, as great as the other ocean-basins of the world, although but little 
is known, it is true, in this respect, of the Indian, Antarctic, and Pacific 
Seas. The general result of its soundings would indicate that the 
average depth of the Atlantic bed is not much more than 1 2,000 feet, 
and there seem to be few depressions deeper than 15,000 or 20,000 feet,^ 
a little more than the height of Mont Blanc. Dr. Thomson sums up 
the general results of the Atlantic soundings as follows : " In the Arctic 
Sea there is deep water, reaching to 9,000 feet to the west and south- 
west of Spitzbergen. Extending from the coast of Norway, and in- 
cluding Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland and Orkney, Great Britain 
and Ireland, and the bed of the North Sea to the coast of France, 
there is a wide plateau, on which the depth rarely reaches 3,000 feet ; 
but to the west of Iceland and communicating doubtless with the deep 



Fig. 5. 

water in the Spitzbergen Sea, a trough 500 miles wide, and, in some 
places, nearly 12,000 feet deep, curves along the east coast of Green- 
land. This is the path of one of the great Arctic return-currents. 

After sloping gradually to a depth of 
3,000 feet to the westward of the coast 
of Ireland in latitude 52, the bottom 
suddenly dips to 10,000 feet at the rate 
of about 15 to 19 feet in the 100; and 
from this point to within about 200 miles 
of the coast of Newfoundland, when it 
begins to shoal again, there is a vast 
undulating submarine plain, averaging 
about 12,000 feet in depth below the 
surface the ' telegraph plateau.' 

" A valley about 500 miles wide, and 
with a mean depth of 15,000 feet, 
stretches from off the southwest coast 
of Ireland, along the coast of Europe, 
dipping into the Bay of Biscay, past the 
Strait of Gibraltar, and along the west 
coast of Africa. Opposite the Cape de 
Verde Islands, it 6eems to merge into a 
slightly deeper trough, which occupies the 
axis of the South Atlantic, and passes 
into the Antarctic Sea. A nearly similar 
valley curves around the coast of North 
America, about 12,000 feet in depth, off 
Newfoundland and Labrador, and be- 
coming considerably deeper to the south- 
ward, where it follows the outline of 
the coast of the States, and the Bahamas 
and Windward Islands, and finally joins 
the central trough of the South Atlantic off the coast of Brazil, with 
a depth of 15,000 feet." 

Ball's Dredge. 

Until within a hundred years but little was known of the living 
inhabitants of the deep sea, except the few objects that adhered to 
lead-lines, or were taken accidentally by fishermen in trawls and 
oyster-dredges ; and, as odd things of no market value were generally 
thrown away, the knowledge from this source increased but slowly. 
The first dredge used by a naturalist to collect specimens from the 
sea-bottom was employed by Otho Friedrich Mtiller, who published a 
quaint book about it in 1779. His dredge was a square-mouthed bag 
(Fig. 4), and he does not appear to have used it beyond a depth of 
180 feet. The dredges now used by naturalists are modifications of 
the oyster-dredge, which is described as a light frame of iron, about 



five feet long by a foot or so in width at the mouth, with a scraper like 
a narrow hoe on one side, and a suspending apparatus attached to the 
rope on the other. From the frame is suspended a bag, about two feet 
in depth, of wide netting or hempen cord. The naturalists' dredge has 
a scraper on each side, the bag is deeper, and the meshes so fine as to 
allow only the water to pass through. 

Fig. 6. 

Dredge with Hempen Tangles. 

Fig. 5 represents the dredge devised by Dr. Ball, of Dublin, and 
which scraped the surface so perfectly that, when drawn along a 
drawing-room floor, it would pick up the pence that had been scattered 
before it. Dr. Thomson states that the most convenient size for 


dredging from a small boat, at a less depth thaii 600 feet, is a frame 18 
inches long and five inches in width. The scrapers are three inches 
wide, and are so set that the distance across between their edges is 
7^ inches. 

The dredge used for deep-sea work was larger, the frame being 
four feet six inches in length, and six inches wide at the throat 
or narrowest part. The weight of the frame was 225 lbs., but Dr. 
Thomson thinks it was too large and heavy. The dredge-bag was 
double, the outer being of strong twine netting lined within with 
" bread-bag," a light, open kind of canvas. 

It was found by experience that very often, when nothing of inter- 
est was brought up within the dredge, many echinoderms, corals, and 
sponges, came to the surface, sticking to the outside of the bag, and 
even to the first few fathoms of the dredge-rope. This suggested the 
attachment of swabs, used for washing the decks, to the dredge. The 
tangled hemp turned out to be very efficient, picking up great numbers 
of objects that would not be otherwise secured. The bag took the 
mollusks, which, from their shelly forms, could not be otherwise ob- 
tained, while the echinoderms, corals, and sponges bulky objects that 
could not readily enter the bag were more easily caught by the swabs, 
although, unfortunately, it mutilated them, and brought them up in 
fragments. So important was this expedient, that a long iron bar was 
attached to the bottom of the dredge-bag, to which the hempen bundles 
were suspended, as shown in Fig. 6. 

The arrangements for sounding and dredging from the Porcupine 
are fully described and illustrated in Prof. Thomson's work. The 
vessel was a 382-ton gunboat, with a steam-engine of 12 horse-power, 
stationed amidships, with drums of different sizes, from which lines 
were led fore and aft for working either at the bow or stern. Two 
powerful derricks were rigged for sounding and dredging, one over 
the stern and one over the port-bow. The block through which the 
sounding-line or dredging-rope passed was not attached directly to the 
derrick, but to a rope which passed through an eye at the end of the 
spar, and was fixed to a "bit," a piece of timber going through the 
deck. On a bight of this rope between the block and the " bit " was 
a piece of apparatus shown in Fig. 7, and called the " accumulator." 
This consisted of 30 or 40 strong India-rubber springs, working to- 
gether, and its use was to yield by stretching, when, from any cause, 
as the pitching of the ship, there was an unusual strain upon the line. 
The dredge-rope of the Porcupine was of Russian hemp, 2-J inches in 
circumference, with a breaking strain of 2- tons, and was 18,000 feet, 
or nearly 3^- miles long. A row of about 20 large iron pins, about 2^ 
feet in length, projected over one side of the quarter-deck, rising 
obliquely from the top of the bulwark. Upon these the rope was con- 
tinuously coiled, as shown in the figure, which also represents the 
dredge in position for descent. 


The method of dredging at a great distance is thus graphically de- 
scribed by Prof. Thomson, as it was performed in the Bay of Biscay, 
July 22, 1869. The depth was first accurately ascertained by sound- 

FlG. 7. 

Tire Stern Derrick op the Porcupine, showing the " Accdthulator," the Dredge, and the 

Mode of stowing the Rope. 

ing, and found to be 14,610 feet. " At 4.45 p. m. the dredge was let go, 
the vessel drifting slowly before a moderate breeze from the north- 



west. The 3,000 fathoms of rope were all out at 5.50 p. m. The dia- 
gram (Fig. 8) will give an idea of the various relative positions of the 
dredge and the vessel according to the plan of dredging adopted by- 
Captain Calvert, which worked admirably, and which appears, in fact, 

Fig. 8. 

dlageam op the relative positions op the vessel, the weights, asx> the dredge, in deedg- 

ing in Deep Wateb. 

to be the only mode that would answer for great depths. It repre- 
sents the position of the vessel when the dredge is let go, and the 
dotted line (A B) the line of descent of the dredge rendered oblique 
by the tension of the rope. While the dredge is going down, the ves- 


sel drifts gradually to leeward ; and, when the whole (say) 18,000 feet 
of rope are out, C W and D might represent respectively the relative 
positions of the vessel, the weight attached 3,000 feet from the dredge, 
and the dredge itself. The vessel now steams slowly to windward, 
occupying successively the positions E, F, G, H. The weight, to 
which the water offers but little resistance, sinks from W to W, and 
the dredge and bag sink more slowly from D to B. The vessel is now 
allowed to drift back before the wind, from H toward C. The tension 
of the motion of the vessel, instead of acting immediately on the 
dredge, now drags forward the weight (W), so that the dredging is 
carried on from the weight, and not directly from the vessel. The 
dredge is thus quietly pulled along, with its lip scraping the bottom in 
the attitude which it assumes from the centre of weight of its iron 
frame and arms. If, on the other hand, the weights were hung close 
to the dredge, and the dredge were dragged directly from the vessel, 
owing to the great weight and spring of the rope, the arms would be 
continually lifted up, and the lip of the dredge prevented from scrap- 
ing. In very deep dredging this operation of stealing up to windward 
until the dredge-rope is nearly perpendicular, after drifting for half an 
hour or so to leeward, is usually repeated three or four times. 

" At 8.50 p. m. we began to haul in. The donkey-engine delivered 
the rope at the rate of rather more than a foot per second without a 
single check. A few minutes before one A. M. the weights appeared, 
and, a little after one in the morning, eight hours after it was cast 
over, the dredge was safely hauled on deck, having in the interval ac- 
complished a journey of upward of eight statute miles. The dredge 
contained 1^ cwt. of very characteristic pale-gray Atlantic ooze." The 
total weight brought up by the engine was : 

"Weight of rope, reduced to in water . = 1,375 lbs. 

Dredge and bag, " " " = 275 " 

Ooze brought up, . = 168 " 

Weight attached ....... 224 " 


As an abundant and characteristic invertebrate life is now shown 
to exist at such great depths, it is inferred to extend to all depths ; 
and thus the whole ocean-bed becomes in future the domain of the in- 
quisitive naturalist. But, as Dr. Thomson remarks, little more can be 
said, for his work is all before him : " A grand new field of inquiry has 
been opened up, but its culture is terribly laborious. Every haul of 
the dredge brings to light new and unfamiliar forms forms which 
link themselves strangely with the inhabitants of past periods in the 
earth's history ; but as yet we have not the data for generalizing the 
deep-sea fauna, and speculating on its geological and biological rela- 
tions ; for, notwithstanding all our strength and will, the area of the 
bottom of the deep sea which has been fairly dredged may still be 
reckoned by the square yard." 





OF old, the spoils of death fell to the anatomist's share, while the 
physiologist took for his part the phenomena of life. Now we 
submit the corpse to the same experiments as the living organism, and 
pry into the relics of death for the secrets of life. Instead of seeing in 
the lifeless body mere forms ready to dissolve and vanish, we detect 
in it forces and persisting activities full of deep instructiveness in their 
mode of working. As theologians and moralists exhort us to study 
the spectre of death face to face at times, and strengthen our souls by 
courageous meditation on our last hour, so medicine regards it as es- 
sential to direct our attention toward all the details of that mournful 
drama, and thus to lead us, through gloom and shadows, to a clearer 
knowledge of life. But it is only with respect to medicine in the most 
modern days that this is true. 

Leibnitz, who held profound and admirable theories of life, had one 
of death also, which he has unfolded in a famous letter to Arnauld. 
He believes that generation is only the development and evolution of 
an animal already existing in form, and that corruption or death is 
only the reenvelopment or involution of the same animal, which does 
not cease to subsist and continue living. The sum of vital energies, 
consubstantial with monads, does not vary in the world ; generation 
and death are but changes in the order and adjustment of the princi- 
ples of vitality, simple transformations from small to great, and vice 
versa. In other words, Leibnitz sees everywhere eternal and incor- 
ruptible germs of life, which neither perish at all nor begin. What 
does begin and perish is the organic machine of which these germs 
compose the original activity : the elementary gearing of the machine 
is broken apart, but not destroyed. This is the earlier view held by 
Leibnitz. He has another, conceiving of generation as a progress of 
life through degrees ; he can conceive of death also as a gradual re- 
gress of the same principle, that is to say, that in death life withdraws 
little by little, just as it came forward little by little in generation. 
Death is no sudden phenomenon, nor instantaneous evanishing it is 
a slow operation, a " retrogradation," as the Hanoverian philosopher 
phrases it. When death shows to us, it has been a long time wearing 
away the organism, though we have not perceived it, because " disso- 
lution at first attacks parts invisibly small." Yes, death, before it be- 
trays itself to the eye by livid pallor, to the touch by marble coldness, 
before chaining the movements and stiffening the blood of the dying 
person, creeps with insidious secrecy into the smallest and most hidden 


points of his organs and his humors. Here it begins to corrupt the 
fluids, to disorganize the tissues, to destroy the equipoise and endanger 
the harmony. This process is more or less lingering and deceitful, and, 
when we note the manifest signs of death, we may be sure that the 
work lacked no deliberate preparation. 

These ideas of Leibnitz, like most of the conceptions of genius, 
waited long after the time of their appearance for confirmation by 
demonstrative experiment. Before his day, bodies were dissected 
only for the sake of studying in them the conformation and normal 
arrangement of the organs. When this study was once completed, 
science took up the methodical inquiry into the changes produced in 
the different parts of the body by diseases. Not until the end of the 
eighteenth century did death in action become the subject of investi- 
gation by Bichat. 

Bichat is the greatest of the physiological historians of death. The 
famous work he has left on this subject, his "Physiological Researches 
upon Life and Death," is as noteworthy for the grandeur of its general 
ideas, and its beauty of style, as for its precision of facts and nicety of 
experiment. To this day it remains the richest mine of recorded truths 
as to the physiology of death. Having determined the fact that life is 
seriously endangered only by alterations in one of the three essential 
organs, the brain, the heart, and the lungs, a group forming the vital 
tripod, Bichat examines how the death of one of these three organs 
assures that of the others, and in succession the gradual stoppage of 
all the functions. In our day, the advance of experimental physiology 
in the path so successfully traversed by Bichat, has brought to light 
in their minutest details the various meehanical processes of death, and, 
what is of far greater consequence, has disclosed an entire order of 
activities heretofore only suspected to be at work in the corpse. The 
theory of death has been built up by slow degrees along with that of 
life, and several practical questions that had remained in a state of un- 
certainty, such as that of the signs of real death, have received the 
most decisive answer in the course of these researches. 


Bichat pointed out that the complete life of animals is made up of 
two orders of phenomena, those of circulation and nutrition, and those 
that fix the relations of the living being with its environment. He 
distinguishes organic life from animal life, properly so called. Vege- 
tables have only the former ; animals possess both, intimately blended. 
Now, on the occurrence of death, these two sorts of life do not disap- 
pear at one and the same moment. It is the animal life that suffers 
the first stroke ; the most manifest activities of the nervous system are 
those which come to a halt before all the rest. How is this stoppage 
brought about ? We must consider separately the order of occir- 


rences in death from old age, in that occasioned by disease, and in 
sudden death. 

The man who expires at the close of a long decline in years, dies 
in detail. All his senses in succession are sealed. Sight becomes dim 
and unsteady, and at last loses the picture of objects. Hearing grows 
gradually insensible to sounds. Touch is blunted into dulness, odors 
produce but a weak impression, only taste lingers a little. At the 
same time that the organs of sensation waste and lose their excitabil- 
ity, the functions of the brain fade out little by little. Imagination 
becomes unfixed, memory nearly fails, judgment wavers. Further, 
motions are slow and difficult on account of stiffness in the muscles; 
the voice breaks ; in short, all the functions of outward life lose their 
spring. Each of the bonds attaching the old man to existence parts 
by slow degrees. Yet the internal life persists. Nutrition still takes 
place, but very soon the forces desert the most essential organs. 
Digestion languishes, the secretions dry up, capillary circulation is 
clogged : that of the large vessels in their turn is checked, and, at 
last, the heart's contractions cease. This is the instant of death. The 
heart is the last thing to die. Such is the series of slow and partial 
deaths which, with the old man spared by disease, result in the last 
end of all. The individual who falls into the sleep of eternity in these 
conditions, dies like the vegetable which, having no consciousness of 
life, can have no consciousness of death. He passes insensibly from 
one to the other, and to die thus is to know no pain. The thought of 
the last hour alarms us only because it puts a sudden end to our rela- 
tions with all our surroundings ; but, if the feeling of these relations 
has long ago faded away, there can be no place for fear at the brink 
of the grave. The animal does not tremble in the instant before it 
ceases to be. 

Unfortunately, death of this kind is very rare for humanity. Death 
from old age has become an extraordinary phenomenon. Most com- 
monly we succumb to a disturbance in the functions of our vital sys- 
tem, which is sometimes sudden, sometimes gradual. In this case, as 
in the former one, we observe animal life disappearing first, but the 
modes of its conclusion are infinitely varied. One of the most usual 
is death through the lungs ; as a restilt of pneumonia and different 
forms of phthisis, the oxidation of the blood becoming impossible 
on account of the disorganization of the pulmonary globules, venous 
blood goes back to the heart without gaining revivification. In the 
case of serious and prolonged fevers, and of infectious diseases, whether 
epidemic or otherwise, which are, characteristically, blood-poisonings, 
death occurs through a general change in nutrition. This is still more 
the fact as to death consequent upon certain chronic disorders of the 
digestive organs. When these are affected, the secretion of those 
juices fitted to dissolve food dries up, and these fluids go through the 
intestinal canal unemployed. In this case the invalid dies of real 


starvation. Haemorrhage is one of the commonest causes of death. 
Whenever a great artery is opened from any cause, permitting the 
copious outflow of blood, the skin grows pale, warmth declines, the 
breathing is intermittent, vertigo and dimness of sight follow, the ex- 
pression of the features changes, cold and clammy sweat covers part 
of the face and the limbs, the pulse gets gradually weaker, and, at last, 
the heart stops. Virgil describes haemorrhage with striking fidelity in 
the story of Dido's death. 

Sudden death, unconnected with outward and accidental causes, 
may occur in various ways. "Very violent impressions on the feelings 
sometimes abruptly check the movements of the heart, and produce 
a mortal swoon. Instances are well known of many persons dying 
of joy Leo X. is one and of persons who succumbed to fear. In 
foudroyant apoplexy, if real death is not instantaneous, there is at 
least the sudden occurrence of the phenomena of death. The sufferer 
is plunged in profound sleep, called by physicians coma, from which 
wakening is impossible; his breathing is difficult, his eyes set, his 
mouth twisted and distorted. The pulsations of the heart cease little 
by little, and soon life utterly vanishes. The breaking of an aneurism 
very often occasions sudden death. Not less often the cause of death 
is found in what is called an embolism, that is, a check to the circula- 
tion by a clot of blood suddenly plugging up some important vessel. 
And there are also cases of sudden death still unaccounted for, in the 
sense that subsequent dissection discovers nothing that could explain 
the stoppage in the operations of life. 

Death is usually preceded by a group of phenomena that has re- 
ceived the name of the death-agony. In most cases of disease the be- 
ginning of this concluding period is marked by a sudden improvement 
of the functions. It is the last gleam springing from the dying flame ; 
but soon the eyes become fixed and insensible to the action of light, 
the nose grows pointed and cold, the mouth, wide open, seems to call 
for the air that fails it, the cavity within it is parched, and the lips, as 
if withered, cling to the curves of the teeth. The last movements of 
respiration are spasmodic, and a wheezing, and sometimes a marked 
gurgling sound, may be heard at some distance, caused by obstruction 
of the bronchial tubes with a quantity of mucus. The breath is cold, 
the temperature of the skin lowered. If the heart is examined, we 
note the weakening of its sounds and pulsations. The hand, placed in 
its neighborhood, feels no throb. Such is the physiognomy of a per- 
son in the last moments of death in the greater number of cases, that 
is, when death follows upon a period of illness of some duration. The 
death-struggle is seldom painful, and almost always the patient feels 
nothing of it. He is plunged into a comatose stupor, so that he is no 
longer conscious of his situation or his sufferings, and he passes insen- 
sibly from life to death, in a manner that renders it sometimes difficult 
to fix the exact instant at which a dying person expires. This is true, 

VOL. III. 18 


at least, in chronic maladies, and especially in those that consume the 
human body slowly and silently. Yet, when the hour of death comes 
for ardent organizations for great artists, for instance, and they usu- 
ally die young there is a quick and sublime new burst of life in the 
creative genius. There is no better example of this than the angelic 
end of Beethoven, who, before he breathed out his soul, that tuneful 
monad, regained his lost speech and hearing, and spent them in re- 
peating for the last time some of those sweet harmonies which he 
called his " Prayers to God." Some diseases, moreover, are most 
peculiarly marked by the gentleness of the dying agony. Of all the 
ills that cheat us while killing by pin-pricks, consumption is that 
which longest wears for us the illusive look of health, and best con- 
ceals the misery of living and the horror of dying. Nothing can be 
compared with that hallucination of the senses and that liveliness of 
hope which mark the last days of the consumptive. He takes the 
burning of his destroying fever for a healthful symptom, he forms his 
plans, and smiles calmly and cheerfully on his friends, and suddenly, 
some morrow of a quiet night, he falls into the sleep that never 

If life is everywhere, and if, consequently, death occurs everywhere, 
in all the elements of the system, what must be thought of that point 
in the spinal marrow which a famous physiologist styled the vital 
knot, and in which. he professed to lodge the principle of life itself? 
The point which Flourens regarded as this vital knot is situated nearly 
at the middle of the prolonged spinal cord that is, the middle of 
that portion of the nerve-substance which connects the brain with the 
spinal marrow. This region, in fact, has a fine and dangerous ex- 
citability. A prick, or the penetration of a needle into it, is 
enough to cause the instant death of any animal whatever. It is the 
very means used in physiological laboratories to destroy life swiftly 
and surely in dogs. That susceptibility is explained in the most nat- 
ural way. This spot is the starting-point of the nerves that go to the 
lungs ; the moment that the slighest injury is produced in it, there fol- 
lows a check on the movements of respiration, and ensuing death. 
This vital knot of Flourens enjoys no sort of special prerogative. Life 
is not more concentrated nor more essential in it than elsewhere ; it 
simply coincides with the initial point of the nerves animating one of 
the organs indispensable to vitality, the organ of sanguification ; and 
in living organisms any alteration of the nerves controlling a function 
brings a serious risk as to its complete performance. There is, there- 
fore, no such thing as a vital knot, a central fire of life in animals. 
They are collections of an infinity of infinitely small living creatures, 
and each one of these microscopic living points is its own life-centre 
for itself. Each on its own account grows, produces heat, and displays 
those characteristic activities which depend upon its structure. Each 
one, by virtue of a preestablished harmony, meets all the rest in the 


ways that they require ; but, just as each lives on its own account, so 
on its account each dies. And the proof that this is so is found in the 
fact that certain parts taken from a dead body can be transferred to a 
living one without suffering any interruption in their physiological 
activity, and in the fact that many organs which seem dead can be 
excited anew, awakened out of their torpor, and animated to extremely 
remarkable vital manifestations. This subject we now proceed to 


Death seems to be absolute from the instant that the pulsations of 
the heart are stopped without renewal, because, the circulation of the 
blood no longer proceeding, the nutrition of the organs becomes im- 
possible, and nutrition is demanded for the maintenance of physiological 
harmony; but, as we have said above, there are a thousand little 
springs in the organism which keep up a certain degree of activity 
after the great main-spring has ceased to act. There is an infinite 
number of partial energies that outlive the destruction of the principal 
energy, and withdraw only by slow degrees. In cases of sudden death 
especially the tissues keep their peculiar vitality a very long time. In 
the first place, the heat declines only quite slowly, and the more so in 
proportion as death has been quick. For several hours after death the 
hair of the head and body, and the nails, continue to grow, nor does 
absorption either stop at once. Even digestion, too, keeps on. The 
experiment performed by Spallanzani to test this is very curious. He 
conceived the idea of making a crow eat a certain quantity of food, 
and killing it immediately after the meal. Then he put it in a place 
kept at the same temperature as that of a live bird, and opened it six 
hours later. The food was thoroughly digested. 

Besides these general manifestations, the dead body is capable, 
during some continued time, of different kinds of activity. It is not 
easy to study these on the bodies of persons dying of sickness, be- 
cause they are not permitted to be made the subject of anatomical ex- 
aminations until twenty-four hours after death ; but the bodies of be- 
headed criminals, which are given up to savants a few moments after 
their execution, can be of use in the investigation of what takes place 
immediately after the stopping of the living machine. If the heart is 
uncovered a few minutes after execution, pulsations are remarked 
which continue during an hour or longer, at the rate of forty to forty- 
five a minute, even after the removal of the liver, the stomach, and the 
intestines. For several hours the muscles retain their excitability, and 
undergo reflex contractions from the effect of pinching. M. Robin 
noted the following phenomenon in the case of a criminal an hour after 
his execution : " The right arm," to quote his description, " being 
placed obliquely extended at the side of the trunk, with the hand about 
ten inches away from the hip, I scratched the skin of the chest, at 


about the height of the nipple, with the point of a scalpel, over a space 
of nearly four inches, without making any pressure on the muscles 
lying beneath. We immediately saw the great pectoral muscle, then 
the biceps, then the anterior brachial, successively and quickly con- 
tract. The result was a movement of approach of the whole arm tow- 
ard the trunk, with rotation inward of the limb, and half flexion of 
the forearm upon the arm, a true defensive movement, which threw the 
hand forward toward the chest as far as the pit of the stomach." 

These spontaneous exhibitions of life in a corpse are trifles com- 
pared with those excited by means of certain stimulants, particularly 
of electricity. Aldini, in 1802, subjected two criminals, beheaded at 
Bologna, to the action of a powerful battery. Influenced by the cur- 
rent, the facial muscles contracted, producing the effect of horrid 
grimaces. All the limbs were seized with convulsive movements ; the 
bodies seemed to feel the stir of resurrection, and to make efforts to 
rise. The springs of the system retained the power of answering the 
electric stimulus for several hours after beheading. A few years later, 
at Glasgow, Ure made some equally noted experiments on the body 
of a criminal that had remained more than an hour hanging on the 
gallows. One of the poles of a battery of TOO pairs having been con- 
nected with the spinal marrow below the nape of the neck, and the 
other brought in contact with the heel, the leg, before bent back on 
itself, was thrust violently forward, almost throwing down one of the 
assistants, who had hard work to keep it in place. When one of the 
poles was placed on the seventh rib, and the other on one of the nerves 
of the neck, the chest rose and fell, and the abdomen repeated the bike 
movement, as takes place in respiration. On touching a nerve of the 
eyebrow at the same time with the head, the facial muscles contracted. 
" Wrath, terror, despair, anguish, and frightful grins, blended in hor- 
rible expression on the assassin's countenance." 

The most remarkable instance of a momentary reappearance of 
vital properties, not in the whole organism, but in the head alone, is 
the famous experiment suggested by Legallois, and carried out for the 
first time in 1858 by M. Brown- Sequard. This skilful physiologist 
beheads a dog, taking pains to make the section below the point at 
which the vertebral arteries enter their bony sheath. Ten minutes 
afterward he sends the galvanic current into the different parts of the 
head thus severed from its body, without producing any resuli, of 
movement. He then fits to the four arteries, the extremities of which 
appear in the cutting of the neck, little pipes connected by tubes with 
a reservoir full of fresh oxygenated blood, and guides the injection of 
this blood into the vessels of the brain. Immediately irregular mo- 
tions of the eyes and the facial muscles occur, succeeded by the ap- 
pearance of regular harmonious contractions, seeming to be prompted 
by the will. The head has regained life. The motions continue to be 
performed during a quarter of an hour, while the injection of blood 


into the cerebral arteries lasts. On stopping the injection, the motions 
cease, and give place to the spasms of agony, and then to death. 

Physiologists asked whether such a momentary resurrection of the 
functions of life might not he brought about in the human subject 
that is, whether movement might not be excited and expression re- 
animated by injecting fresh blood into a head just severed from a 
man's body, as in M. Brown-Sequard's experiment. It was suggested 
to try it on the heads of decapitated criminals, but anatomical obser- 
vations, particularly those of M. Charles Robin, showed that the arte- 
ries of the neck are cut by the guillotine in such a way that air pene- 
trates and fills them. It follows that it is impracticable to inject them 
with blood that can produce the effects noted by M. Brown-Sequard. 
Indeed, we know that blood circulating in the vessels becomes frothy 
on contact with air, and loses fitness for its functions. M. Robin sup- 
poses that the experiment in question could be successful only if made 
upon the head of a man killed by a ball that should strike below the 
neck ; in that case it would be possible to effect such a section of the 
arteries that no entrance of air would occur, and, if the head were 
separated at the place pointed out by M. Brown-Sequard, those mani- 
festations of function remarked in the dog's head would probably be 
obtained by the injection of oxygenated blood. M. Brown-Sequard is 
convinced that they might be obtained, if certain precautions were ob- 
served, even with the head of a decapitated criminal ; and, so strong 
is his conviction, that, when it was proposed to him to try the experi- 
ment that is, to perform the injection of blood into the head of a 
person executed he refused to do so, not choosing, as he said, to wit- 
ness the tortures of this fragment of a being recalled for an instant to 
sensibility and life. We understand M. Brown-Sequard's scruples, but 
it is allowable to doubt whether he would have inflicted great suffering 
on the head of the subject ; at most, he would only have aroused in it 
a degree of very dim and uncertain sensibility. This is easily ex- 
plained. In life, the slightest perturbation in the cerebral circulation 
is enough to prevent thought and sensation utterly. Now, if a few 
drops of blood too much or too little in the brain of an animal in full 
health suffice to alter the regularity of its psychical manifestations, 
much more certainly will the completeness of the brain's action be de- 
ranged if it is awakened by an injection of foreign blood, a forcible 
entry too, which, of necessity, cannot cause the blood to circulate with 
suitable pressure and equipoise. 

Corpse-like rigidity is one of the most characteristic phenomena of 
death. This is a general hardening of the muscles, so great that they 
lose the property of extension till even the joints cannot be bent ; 
this phenomenon begins some hours after death. The muscles of the 
lower jaw are the first to stiffen ; then rigidity invades in succession 
the abdominal muscles, those of the neck, and at last the thoracic ones. 
This hardening takes place through the coagulation of the half-fluid 


albuminoid matter which composes the muscular fibres, as the solidifi- 
cation of the blood results from coagulation of its fibrine. After a 
few hours the coagulated musculine grows fluid again, rigidity passes 
away, and the muscles relax. Something not dissimilar takes place 
also in the blood. The globules change, lose shape, and suffer the be- 
ginning of dissociation. The agents of putrefaction, vibrios and bac- 
teria, thus enter upon their great work by insidiously breaking up the 
least seen parts. 

At last, when partial revivals are no longer possible, when the last 
flicker of life has gone out and corpse-like rigidity has ceased, a new 
work begins. The living germs that had collected on the surface of the 
body and in the digestive canal develop, multiply, pierce into all the 
points of the organism, and produce in it a complete separation of the 
tissues and humors ; this is putrefaction. The moment of its appear- 
ance varies with the causes of death and the degree of outward tem- 
perature. When death is the result of a putrid malady, putrefaction 
begins almost immediately when the body has grown cold. It is the 
same when the atmosphere is warm. In general, in our climates, the 
work of decomposition becomes evident after from thirty-eight to 
forty hours. Its first effects are noticeable on the skin of the stomach ; 
this takes on a greenish discoloration, which soon spreads and covers 
successively the whole surface of the body. At the same time the 
moist parts, the eye, the inside of the mouth, soften and decay ; then 
the cadaverous odor is gradually developed, at first faint and slightly 
fetid, a mouldy smell, then a pungent and ammoniacal stench. Little 
by little the flesh sinks in and grows watery ; the organs cease to be 
distinguishable. Every thing is seized upon by what is termed pu- 
tridity. If the tissues are examined under the microscope at this mo- 
ment, we no longer recognize any of the anatomical elements of which 
the organic fabric is made up in its normal state. " Our flesh," Bos- 
suet exclaims in his funeral-sermon on Henrietta of England, " soon 
changes its nature, our body takes another name ; even that of a corpse, 
used because it still exhibits something of the human figure, does not 
long remain with it. It becomes a thing without a shape, which in 
every language is without a name." When structure has wholly dis- 
appeared, nothing more remains but a mixture of saline, fat, and pro- 
teic matters, which are either dissolved and carried away by water, or 
slowly burned up by the air's oxygen, and transmuted into new prod- 
ucts, and the whole substance of the body, except the skeleton, returns 
piecemeal to the earth whence it came forth. Thus the ingredients of 
our organs, the chemical elements of our bodies, turn to mud and dust 
again. From this mud and this dust issue unceasingly new life and 
energetic activity ; but a clay fit for the commonest uses may also be 
got from it, and, in the words of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the dust of 
Alexander or Caesar may plug the vent of a beer-cask, or " stop a hole 
to keep the wind away." These " base uses," of which the Prince of 


Denmark speaks to Horatio, mark the extreme limits of the transforma- 
tion of matter. In any case the beings of lowest order that toil and 
engender in the bosom of putrefaction are really absorbing and storing 
away life, since without their aid the corpse could not serve as nutri- 
ment to plants, which in their turn are the necessary reservoir whence 
animality draws its sap and strength. It is in this sense that BufFon's 
doctrine of organic molecules is a true one. 

Death is the necessary end of all organic existence. We may hope 
more or less to set at a distance its inevitable hour, but it would be 
madness to dream of its indefinite postponement in any species what- 
soever. No doubt there is no contradiction in conceiving of a perfect 
equilibrium between assimilation and disassimilation, such that the 
system would be maintained in immortal health. In any case, no one 
has yet even gained a glimpse of the modes of realizing such an equi- 
librium, and death continues, till further orders, a fixed law of Fate. 
Still, though immortality for a complete organism seems chimerical, 
perhaps it is not the same with the immortality of a separate organ in 
the sense we now explain. We have already alluded to the experi- 
ments of M. Paul Bert on animal-grafting. He has proved that, on 
the head of a rat, certain organs of the same animal as the tail, for 
instance may be grafted. And this physiologist asks himself the 
question, whether it would not be possible, when a rat provided with 
such an appendage draws near the close of his existence, to remove the 
appendage from him, and transplant it to a young animal, which in his 
turn would be deprived of the ornament in the same way in his old 
age in favor of some specimen of a new generation, and so on in suc- 
cession. This tail, transplanted in regular course to young animals, 
and imbibing at each transference blood full of vitality, perpetually 
renewed, yet ever remaining the same, would thus escape death. The 
experiment, delicate and difficult, as we well see, was yet undertaken 
by M. Bert, but circumstances did not allow it to be prolonged for any 
considerable time, and the fact of the perpetuity of an organ, periodi- 
cally rejuvenated, remains to be demonstrated. 


Real death, then, is characterized by the positive ceasing of vital 
properties and functions both in the organic or vegetative life, and in 
the animal life, properly so termed. When animal life disappears with- 
out any interruption occurring in organic life, the system is in a state 
of seeming death. In this state the body is possessed by profound 
sleep quite similar to that of hibernating animals ; all the usual ex- 
pressions and all signs of internal activity have disappeared, and give 
place to invincible torpor. The most powerful chemical stimulants 
exert no control over the organs, the walls of the chest are motionless ; 
in short, seeing the body presenting this appearance, it is impossible 
not to think of it as dead. There are quite numerous states of the or- 


ganisni which may thus imitate death more or less closely ; the com- 
monest one is that of fainting. In this case neither sensation nor 
movements of circulation or respiration are any longer perceptible ; 
the warmth is lowered, the skin pallid and colorless. Instances of 
hysteria are cited in which the attack has heen prolonged for several 
days, attended with fainting. In this strange condition all physiologi- 
cal manifestations remain suspended ; yet they are not, as it was long 
supposed, suspended absolutely. M. Bouchest has proved that, in the 
gravest cases of fainting, the pulsations of the heart continue, weaker 
and rarer, and harder to be heard than in normal life, but clearly dis- 
tinguishable when the ear is laid on the precordial region. On the 
other hand, the muscles retain their suppleness and the limbs their 

Asphyxia, which properly is suspension of breathing, and conse- 
quently of the blood's revivification, sometimes passes into a serious 
fainting condition followed by seeming death, from which the sufferer 
recovers after a period of varying length. This state may be induced 
either by drowning or by inhaling a gas unfit for respiration, such as 
carbonic acid in deep wells, emanations from latrines, or the choke- 
damp of mines, or by suffocation. In 1650 a woman named Ann 
Green was hanged at Oxford. She had been hanging for half an hour, 
and several people, to shorten her suffering, had pulled her by the feet 
with all their strength. After she was placed in her coffin it was ob- 
served that she still breathed. The executioner's assistants attempted 
to end her existence, but, thanks to the help of physicians, she came 
back to life, and continued to live some time afterward. Drowning 
occasions an equally deep insensibility, during which, very singularly, 
the psychical faculties retain some degree of activity. Sailors, after 
timely resuscitation from drowning, declare that, while under water, 
they had returned in thought to their families, and sadly fancied the 
grief about to be caused by their death. After a few minutes of phys- 
ical rest, they suffered violent colic of the heart, which seemed to twist 
itself about in their chests ; afterward this anguish was followed by 
utter annihilation of consciousness. It is very difficult, moreover, to 
determine how long apparent death may be protracted in an organism 
under water. It varies greatly with temperaments. 

In the islands of the Greek archipelago, where the business of gath- 
ering sponges from the bottom of the sea is pursued, children are not 
allowed to drink wine until, by practice, they have grown accustomed 
to remain a certain time under water. Old divers of the archipelago 
say that the time to return and take breath at the surface is indicated 
to them by painful convulsions of the limbs, and very severe contrac- 
tions in the region of the heart. This power of enduring asphyxia for 
some time, and resisting by force of will the movements of respiration, 
has been remarked under other circumstances. The case of a Hindoo 
is mentioned, who used to creep into the palisaded enclosures used for 


bathing, in the Ganges, by the ladies of Calcutta, seize one of them 
by the legs, drown her, and rob her of her rings. It was supposed 
that a crocodile carried her off. One of his intended victims succeed- 
ing in escaping, the assassin was seized and executed in 1817. He 
confessed that he had practised the homble business for seven years. 
Another instance is that of a spy, who, seeing preparations making for 
his execution, endeavored to escape it by feigning death. He held his 
breath, and suspended all voluntary motions for twelve hours, and en- 
dured all the tests applied to him to put the reality of his death be- 
yond doubt. Anaesthetics, too, like chloroform and ether, sometimes 
produce stronger effects than the surgeons using them desire, and 
occasion a state of seeming death instead of temporary insensibility. 

It is easy to recall persons to life who are in a state of seeming 
death ; it is only needful to stimulate powerfully the two mechanical 
systems that are more or less completely suspended in action, namely 
those of respiration and circulation. Such movements are communi- 
cated to the frame of the chest, that the lungs are alternately com- 
pressed and dilated. A sort of shampooing is applied over the whole 
body, which restores the capillary circulation ; chemical stimulants, 
such as ammonia or acetic acid, are brought under the patient's nos- 
trils. This is the mode of treatmeut for drowned persons, whose con- 
dition is brought on by ceasing to breathe the air, not by taking in too 
much water. A very effective method in cases of apparent death, 
caused by inhaling a poisonous gas, such as carbonic acid or sulphu- 
retted hydrogen, consists in making the patient draw in large quanti- 
ties of pure oxygen. And, again, it has very lately been proposed, as 
Halle suggested without success early in this century, to adopt the use 
of strong electric currents for stimulating movement in persons who 
are in a state of syncope. 

In all the cases of seeming death we have just mentioned, one mark 
of vitality persistently remains, that is, pulsation of the heart. Its 
throbs are less strong and frequent, but they continue perceptible on 
auscultation. They are regularly discernible in the deepest fainting- 
fits, in the various kinds of asphyxia, in poisonings by the most vio- 
lent narcotics, in hysteria, in the torpor of epilepsy, in short, in 
the most diverse and protracted states of lethargy and seeming 

Yet, this result, now a practical certainty, was unknown to physi- 
cians of old, and it cannot be denied that, in former times, seeming 
death was quite often mistaken for true death. The annals of science 
have recorded a certain number of errors of this kind, many of which 
have resulted in the interment of unfortunate wretches who were not 
dead. And for one of these mistakes that chance has brought to light 
either too late, or in time for the rescue, even then, of the victim, how 
many are there, pai-ticularly in times of ignorance and carelessness, 
that no one has ever known ! How many live men have only given 


up their last breath after a vain struggle to break out of their coffin ! 
The facts collected by Bruhier and Lallemand in two works that have 
become classic compose a most mournful and dramatic history. These 
are some of its episodes, marked by the strange part that chance plays 
in them. A rural guard, having no family, dies in a little village of 
Lower Charente. Hardly grown cold, his body is taken out of bed, 
and laid on a straw ticking covered with a coarse cloth. An old hired 
woman is charged with the watch over the bed of death. At the foot 
of the corpse were a branch of box, put into a vessel filled with holy 
water, and a lighted taper. Toward midnight the old watcher, yield- 
ing to the invincible need of sleep, fell into a deep slumber. Two 
hours later she awoke surrounded by flames from a fire that had caught 
her clothes. She rushed out, crying with all her might for help, and 
the neighbors, running together at her screams, saw in a moment a 
naked spectre issue from the hut, limping and hobbling on limbs cov- 
ered with burns. "While the old woman slept, a spark had probably 
dropped on the straw bed, and the fire it kindled had aroused both 
the watcher from her sleep and the guard from his seeming death. 
With timely assistance he recovered from his burns, and grew sound 
and well again. 

On the 15th of October, 1842, a farmer in the neighborhood of 
Neufchatel, in the Lower Seine, climbed into a loft over his barn to 
sleep, as he usually did, among the hay. Early the next day, his cus- 
tomary hour of rising being past, his wife, wishing to know the cause 
of his delay, went to look for him, and found him dead. At the time 
of interment, more than twenty-four hours after, the bearers placed 
the body in a coffin, which was closed, and carried it slowly down the 
ladder by which they had gained the loft. Suddenly one of the rounds 
of the ladder snapped, and the bearers fell together with the coffin, 
which burst open with the shock. The accident, which might have 
been fatal to a live man, was very serviceable to the dead one, who was 
roused from his lethargy by the concussion, returned to life, and hast- 
ened to get out of his shroud with the assistance of those of the by- 
standers who had not been frightened away by his sudden resurrection. 
An hour later he could recognize his friends, and felt no uneasiness 
except a slight confusion in his head, and the next day was able to go 
to work again. At about the same time a resident of Nantes gave up 
life after a long illness. His heirs made arrangements for a grand 
funeral, and, while the performance of a requiem was going on, the 
dead man returned to life and stirred in the coffin, that stood in the 
middle of the church. When carried home, he soon regained his 
health. Some time afterward, the cur'e, not caring to be at the trouble 
of the burial ceremonies for nothing, sent a bill to the ex-corpse, who 
declined to pay it, and referred the cur'e to the heirs who had given 
orders for the funeral. A lawsuit followed, with which the papers of 
the day kept the public greatly amused. A few years ago Cardinal 


Donnet, in the Senate, told his own story of the circumstances under 
which he narrowly escaped being buried alive. 

Besides these instances of premature burial in which the victim 
escaped the fearful consequences of the mistake made, others may be 
cited in which the blunder was discovered only too late. Quite a 
number of such cases are known, some of which are told with details 
too romantic to entitle them to implicit belief, while, however, many 
of them show unquestionable signs of authenticity. There long pre- 
vailed a tradition, not easily traceable to any source, which attributed 
the death of the Abbe Prevost to a mistake of this kind. All his 
biographers relate that the famous author of " Manon Lescaut," falling 
senseless from the effect of a rush of blood, in the heart of the forest 
of Chantilly, was supposed to be dead ; that then the surgeon of the 
village having made an incision into his stomach, by direction of the 
magistrate, to ascertain the cause of death, Prevost uttered a cry, and 
did then die in earnest. But it has since been proved that the story 
is imaginary, and that it was made up after Prevost's death ; nor do 
any of the necrological accounts published at the time refer it to the 
consequences of a j)reniature autopsy. Though the account of Prevost 
dissected alive seems doubtful, that is not the case with the story told 
with regard to an operation by the famous accoucheur, Philip Small. 
A woman, about to be confined, fell into a state of seeming death. 
Small relates that when he was summoned to perform the Cesarean 
operation, the by-standers, convinced that the woman was dead, urged 
him to proceed with it. " I supposed so, too," he says, " for I felt no 
pulse in the region of the heart, and a glass held over her face showed 
no sign of respiration." Then he plunged his knife into the body, and 
was cutting among the bleeding tissues, when the subject awoke from 
her lethargy. 

We cite some still more startling instances. Thirty years ago, a 
resident of the village of Eymes, in Dordogne, had been suffering for 
a long time from a chronic disorder of little consequence in itself, but 
marked by the distressing symptom of constant wakefulness, which 
forbade the patient any kind of rest. Worn out with this condition, 
he consulted a doctor, who prescribed opium, advising great caution 
in its use. The invalid, possessed with that common-enough notion 
that the efficacy of a drug is proportioned to its quantity, took at one 
time a dose sufficient for several days. He soon fell into a deep sleep, 
which continued unbroken for more than twenty-four hours. The vil- 
lage doctor, being summoned, finds the body without warmth, the pidse 
extinct, and, on opening the veins of both arms in succession, obtains 
but a few drops of thick blood. The day after, they prepared for his 
burial. But, a few days later, closer inquiry revealed the imprudence 
the poor wretch had committed in taking an excessive quantity of the 
prescribed narcotic. The report spreading among the villagers, they 
insist on his disinterment, which is allowed. Gathering in a crowd, at 


the cemetery, they take up the coffin, open it, and are met hy a horri- 
ble sight. The miserable man had turned over in his coffin, the blood 
gushing from the two opened veins had soaked the shroud ; his features 
were frightfully contorted, and his convulsed limbs bore witness to the 
cruel anguish that had preceded death. Most of the facts of this kind 
are of rather remote date. The latest instances have happened in the 
country, among an ignorant population, usually in neighborhoods where 
no physician was called on to ascertain the decease, that is, to distin- 
guish the cases of seeming death from those of true death. 

How, then, can we certainly know apparent from real death ? There 
is a certain number of positive signs of death ; that is to say, signs 
which, when absolutely discerned, leave no room for mistake. Yet some 
physicians, and many people who know nothing of science, are still so 
doubtful about the certainty of these signs as to wish that physiology 
could detect others of a more positive character. A zealous philanthro- 
pist, quite lately, gave a sum for a prize of twenty thousand francs to 
the discoverer of an infallible sign of death. Doubtless, the intention is 
excellent, but we are safe henceforward in regarding the sexton's work 
without alarm ; the signs already known are clear enough to prevent 
any mistake, and to make the fatal risk of premature burial impossible. 

We must point out, in the first place, the immediate signs of death. 
The first, and the most decisive, is the absolute stoppage of the heart's 
pulsations, noted for a duration of at least five minutes, not by the 
touch, but by the ear. " Death is certain," says the reporter of the 
commission named in 1848, by the Academy of Sciences, to award the 
prize of competition as to the signs of true death, " when positive ces- 
sation of pulsations of the heart in the subject has been ascertained, 
which is immediately followed, if it has not been preceded, by cessa- 
tion of respiration, and of the functions of sensation and motion." The 
remote signs equally deserve attention. Of these, three are recognized : 
corpse-like rigidity, resistance to the action of galvanic currents, and 
putrefaction. As we have already seen, rigidity does not begin till 
several hours after death, while general and complete disappearance 
of muscular contractility, under the stimulus of currents, and, last of 
all, putrefaction, are only manifest at a still later period. These remote 
signs, particularly the last, have this advantage, that they may be 
ascertained by those unacquainted with medicine, and it is very well 
to pay some attention to them in countries where physicians are not 
charged with the verification of the disease, but they are of no impor- 
tance wherever there are doctors to examine the heart with instruments, 
and to decide promptly and surely upon the death, from the complete 
stoppage of pulsation in that organ. At the beginning of the century, 
Hufeland, and several other physicians, convinced that all the signs of 
death then known were uncertain, except putrefaction, proposed and 
obtained, in Germany, the establishment of a certain number of mor- 
tuary houses, intended to receive, and keep for some time, the bodies 


of deceased persons. During the whole existence of these establish- 
ments, not one of the bodies transported into those asylums has been 
known to return to life, as the authentic declarations of the attendant 
doctors agree. The usefulness of such mortuary houses is still more 
questionable in our time, when we have a positive and certain means 
of recognizing real death. Those police regulations that forbid autop- 
sies and interments until the full term of delay for twenty-four hours, 
measured from the declaration of death, still remain prudent pre- 
cautions, but they do not lessen at all the certainty of that evidence 
furnished by the stopping of the heart. When the heart has definitely 
ceased to beat, then resurrection is no longer possible, and the life 
which deserts it is preparing to enter upon a new cycle. 

Hamlet, in his famous soliloquy, speaks of "that undiscovered 
country from whose bourn no traveller returns," and mournfully asks, 
what must be the dreams of the man to whom death has opened the 
portals of those gloomy regions. We can give no clearer answer, in 
the name of physiology, than Shakespeare's prince gives. Physiology 
is dumb as to the destiny of the soul after death ; of that it teaches, 
and it can teach us, nothing. It is plain, and it would be childish to 
deny it, that any psychical or sentient manifestation, and any concrete 
representation of the personality, are impossible after death. The dis- 
solution of the organism annihilates surely, and of necessity, the func- 
tions of sensation, motion, and will, which are inseparable from a cer- 
tain combination of material conditions, We can feel, move, and will, 
only so far as we have organs for reception, transmission, and execu- 
tion. These assurances of science are above discussion, and should be 
accepted without reserve. Do they tell us any thing of the destiny of 
the psychical principles themselves ? Again we say, No, and for the 
very simple reason that science does not attain to those principles ; 
but metaphysics, which does attain to them, authorizes us, nay, further, 
compels us to believe that they are immortal. They are immortal, as 
the principles of motion, the principles of perception, all the active 
unities of the world, are immortal. What is the general characteristic 
of those unities ? It is that of being simple, which means being inde- 
structible, which means being in harmonious mutual connection, after 
such a manner that each one of them perceives the infinite order of the 
other. If this connection did not exist, there would be no world. 
What is the characteristic of the psychical unities more especially ? It 
is that of having, besides the consciousness of such perception, the 
feeling also of the relations that bind the whole together, and those 
faculties, more or less developed, which that consciousness and that 
perception imply. But why should these unities be any more perish- 
able than the others ? Why, if all these forces, all these activities, are 
eternal, should those alone not possess eternity which have this high 
privilege, that of knowing the infinite relations which the others sus- 
tain without knowing that they do so ? 


To form a conception of the immortality of the soul, then, we must 
place ourselves at that point of view to which men rarely and hardly 
rise, of the simplicity and the indefectibility of all those principles of 
force that fill the universe. We must train ourselves to understand 
that what we see is nothing in comparison with what we do not see. 
The whole force, the whole spring, of the most complex movements, 
the most magnificent phenomena of Nature, and the most subtle opera- 
tions of life, thought included, proceed from the infinite commingling 
of an infinity of series of invisible and unextended principles, whose 
activities ascend in the scale of perfection from simple power of move- 
ment up to supreme reason. Human personality, such as we see and 
know it, is only a coarse and complex result from those of these primi- 
tive activities which are the best and deepest thing in us. It is not 
that personality which is immortal that is no more immortal than 
the motive force of a steam-engine is, or the electricity of a voltaic 
battery, although movement and electricity are of themselves inde- 
structible. It is not that personality which can aspire to a home in 
the bosom of God. Our true personality, our real J, that which may 
without illusion count on a future life, is unity released from every 
material bond, and all concrete alloy; it is that force, necessarily pure, 
which has a more or less clear consciousness of its own relations with 
the infinity of like unities, and which more or less draws near to them 
by thought and by love. It is beyond our power to conceive what 
will become of that unity when, quitting its prison of flesh, and soaring 
into the ideal ether, it will no longer have organs with which to act ; 
but what we can affirm is that, precisely by reason of this freedom, it 
will rise to a clearer knowledge of all that it had only known obscurely, 
and to a purer love of what it had adored only through the veil of 
sense. And this certainty, which is the ennobling and elevating force 
of life, is also the consolation for death. Revue cles Deux Jfondes. 




By Prof. N. H. WINCHELL, 


II. Origin of the Drift. 

THE first records of exact observations pertaining to the drift seem 
to have been made in the first quarter of the present century, 
and are wholly confined to the appearances and positions of the bowl- 
ders, or "travelled rocks," that constitute a striking object to the sci- 
entific observer throughout the northern portions of Europe and 
America. In 1819 the memoirs of the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh 


announced the transportation by ice of a large piece of conglomerate 
4x6x8 feet a distance of 260 yards in one night. It was deposited 
in the sands on the shores of a little bay on the Mersey Firth. 

A similar account is published in the American Journal of Science 
and Arts, 1822, as occurring at Salisbury, Connecticut. 

After the year 1820, exact observations were stimulated in this 
country by the publication of the American Journal of Science and 
Arts, which from time to time called attention to the various phe- 
nomena of the drift. The earliest investigations of note were made 
by De Saussure, Pallas, and De Luc, on the Continent of Europe, and 
by Sir James Hall in Scotland. These observers coincided in the 
opinion that the existence of the " travelled rocks " must be explained 
by the occurrence of devastating currents of water, or d'ebdcles, from 
the north, which transported them from their original places. This 
theory was advocated, sometimes with slight modifications, by the re- 
vered Dr. Edward Hitchcock, of Massachusetts; by Dr. Benjamin 
Silliman, of Connecticut ; by Dr. Hildreth, of Ohio ; Lapham, of Wis- 
consin ; J. N. Nicollet, of Minnesota ; and by Von Buch, Studer, 
Buckland, and De la Beche, of Europe. Von Buch, seeing that one 
debacle, proposed by De Saussure, would not account for all the phe- 
nomena, supposed there were several. De la Beche believed this vast 
inundation from the north was the immediate result of a sudden up- 
heaval of the polar regions, turning the waters of the Arctic Ocean 
southward with great violence. This cause was also accepted by Prof. 
Buckland and Dr. Silliman. This theory is the same as that known as 
diluvion. Hence the groovmgs on the rocks were first known as di- 
luvial marks. 

Contemporary with the debacle theory was that of Chabrier, who 
believed the bowlders came from the atmosphere. This theory seems 
not to have met with very much countenance, and soon ceased to be 

In 1828 Peter Dobson, of Connecticut, proposed the germ of what 
became an important and long-lived theory, viz., that floating ice, in 
the form of vast sheets, carried great quantities of gravel and stones, 
and distributed them wherever they were stranded. This suggestion, 
aided by the quick indorsement of Sir R. I. Murchison, grew into that 
known as the iceberg theory, which survives to the present day. This 
last necessitates the submergence of the continent beneath the quiet 
waters of the ocean, and here diverges from the debdcle theory which 
requires turbulent waters. The iceberg theory received many prom- 
inent and able advocates. Among them may be named Sir Charles 
Lyell, Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Peter Dobson, John L. Hays, C. T. 
Jackson, Sedgwick, of England; W. C. Redfield, of New England; 
Prof. Mather, of Ohio ; Dawson, of Canada ; and a great many others. 

Before, however, the iceberg theory had grown into prominence, 
Mr. De Kay, of New York, proposed another, which at least has the 


advantage of allowing the continent to stand still instead of sinking it 
several thousand feet below the ocean-level. 

Mr. De Kay claimed that the bowlders originated at or near the 
places in which they now lie , that they are the remains of ancient 
peaks of primitive rock that have since been demolished by earth- 
quakes and by atmospheric forces, the sites covered by detritus, and 
concealed from the observer. This was announced in 1828, but it 
made no headway, probably from the fact that these bowlders lie on 
the surface not only where primitive rocks abound, but also overbroad 
areas where the primitive rocks are buried thousands of feet below 
later sedimentary formations, such formations being intact over the 
whole area. 

In 1837 Prof. Louis Agassiz propounded that theory known as the 
glacier theory in a paper read before the Helvetic Society of Natural 
History in his native country, Switzerland. It is thus concisely stated 
by Mr. Charles McLaren : " It was deduced from a careful study of 
the phenomena attending glaciers. . . . The Swiss philosopher ad- 
vanced step by step. He satisfied himself that in the Alpine valleys, 
where glaciers still exist, they once rose to a higher level, and ex- 
tended farther down into the low country than they now do. Next he 
discovered indications of their former existence on Mont Jura and over 
the whole Swiss valley ; and, connecting these with similar indications 
found in the Vosges, the Scandinavian mountains, and elsewhere, and 
with the well-known fact of sheets of ice covering the northern shores of 
Siberia, and entombing the remains of extinct species of animals, he came 
to the conclusion that, at a period, geologically speaking, very recent, 
all the Old World north of the 35th or 36th parallel had been enveloped 
in a crust of ice. Whence the cold came which produced this effect, 
and why it afterward disappeared, are questions he did not feel him- 
self bound to answer." This theory had been suggested before by 
Venetz, but had been applied by him only to the region of the Alps. 
Prof. Agassiz afterward more fully worked out his theory, giving facts, 
and careful measurements, and calculations, in his famous work entitled 
" Etudes sur les Glaciers." 

Prof. Agassiz supposes that the eastern Alps were upheaved when 
the coating of ice was on the surface, this being the last cataclysm 
that has visited Europe. By this upheaval of the Alps the ice was 
disturbed, like the rocky formations. This was accompanied or fol- 
lowed by a higher temperature, and the thawing of the ice, which pro- 
duced torrents and consequent valleys of erosion. The floods which 
followed the upheaval of the Alps were sufficient to float icebergs con- 
taining blocks of rock that might be deposited in different places, the 
water being at least 300 feet deep, and the agent that carried and de- 
posited the fine drift in the valleys below. The catastrophe which en- 
veloped the northern regions in ice was sudden, according to Prof. 
Agassiz, but the retreat of the glacier was slow. 


This theory, so novel, so startling, met with various acceptance. 
By some it was loudly scouted as the product of the imagination solely ; 
and was classed by Prof. B. Studer, a savant of the Continent of Eu- 
rope, with the poetical Indian legends, wherein the periods of heat and 
life are made to alternate with periods of freezing and death. But its 
force lay in the inherent evidence of candor, and honesty in the state- 
ment of facts about which there could be no dispute. By the most 
enlightened geologists, both of the Old World and the New, it was re- 
ceived as a flood of light cast on what had befox - e been dark and un- 
explained ; and it was accepted with some caution and exceptions by 
such men as Prof. Buckland, Sir Charles Lyell, and Prof. Edward 
Hitchcock. At the present day but few geologists can be found in 
this country who do not admit the reality of the glacial epoch. 

But, while it is true that but few geologists can be found in this 
country who do not admit the truth of the glacier theory of Prof. 
Agassiz, it is also true that a great many, perhaps the majority, also 
adhere to the iceberg theory of Peter Dobson. The two theories at 
first came in violent conflict. They diverged at the outset. One re- 
quired the continent below the ocean, and the transportation of bowl- 
ders and other drift by floating ice ; the other required it elevated 
high above the ocean, and the transportation of the drift by ice in the 
form of continental glaciers. How, then, can the same person hold to 
both theories ? 

Soon after the promulgation of the glacier theory by Prof. Louis 
Agassiz, Mr. Charles McLaren attempted to make it harmonize with 
the iceberg theory. He was seconded in the effort by Prof. Edward 
Hitchcock, who invented the term aqueo-glacial, to express the force, 
or forces, that operated to disperse the materials of the drift. In ex- 
plaining the meaning of that term, he says, however, he cannot admit 
the glacier theory of Prof. Agassiz, and apply it unqualifiedly to this 
country ; but, while acknowledging himself greatly indebted to Agas- 
siz, he thinks that icebergs were the principal agents in transporting 
the drift. In the years 1841 and 1842 Sir Charles Lyell visited this 
country. His observations on the drift, published in various scientific 
journals, and repeated in his book of " Travels in North America," in 
1845, furnish the basis for the most plausible union of these two 
theories. He divides the drift epoch into four parts : 

1. The period of emergence of the land, during which some of the 
bold, rocky escarpments of the continent were formed. 

2. A gradual subsidence and moderate submergence of the interior 
portions of the continent, during which icebergs floated over the sur- 
face of the ocean, grinding and marking the rocks. 

3. The deposition of the clay, gravel, and sand, of the drift, with 
occasional fragments of rock, the last through floating ice. 

4. Period of reelevation and formation of lake-terraces. 
Although not professedly aiming to reconcile the iceberg theory 

VOL. III. 19 


with the glacier theory of M. Agassiz, Mr. Lyell's eminent authority 
would not permit the total extinguishment of the iceberg theory, and 
his generalizations have, perhaps, had more influence in directing the 
efforts of others in such reconciliation than the writings of any other 
man. It required but very slight changes in Mr. Lyell's method of 
dividing the history of the drift to evolve, in its present aspect, the 
latest theory of geologists touching the origin of the drift-deposits. 
Mr. Murchison, of England, coincides with Mr. Lyell in the sub- 
mergence, or iceberg theory. Mr. J. D. Dana advocates the glacier 
theory in its fullest extent ; but, although adopting also the term 
Champlain, he is far from admitting the recent enlargement of that 
epoch, so as to bring the continent beneath the water of the ocean as 
required by the supporters of the combination theory. 

Professors E. W. Hilgard, of Mississippi, and J. S. Newberry, of 
Ohio, are among the most prominent advocates in this country of this 
new theory, resulting from the combination of the glacier and the ice- 
berg theories. Dr. A. Winchell, of New York, also advocates the same. 
It is as follows : 

First. The glacier epoch proper. 

During this epoch the continent was considerably elevated above 
its present level, especially in the north. This either produced, or was 
accompanied by, a greater degree of cold, the effect of which was to 
bring over the continent the vast sheets of ice in the form of con- 
tinental glaciers, required by the hypothesis of Prof. Agassiz. During 
this epoch the rocks were scored, and many deep valleys were exca- 
vated. Large bowlders were transported to regions farther south. 

Second. The submergence of the continent, attended by an ame- 
lioration of the climate and the disappearance of the glaciers, or their 
retreat to the far north. The assortment and stratification of the drift, 
produced by the glaciers, and the deposition of the great mass known 
as Erie clay, and other clayey portions of the drift-sheet. This con- 
dition of the continent was attended by the appearance of numerous 
icebergs which floated over the submerged land, and aided to trans- 
port the coarse drift, according to the hypothesis of Peter Dobson. 

Third. The emergence of the continent with a halting progress, pro- 
ducing terraces and ridges marking the ancient levels of the ocean. 

These three steps have been named by Prof. Dana, in their order, 
the Glacial Epoch, the Champlain Epoch, and the Terrace Epoch. 

The studies of Professors Agassiz and Tyndall on the glaciers of 
the Alps, and of Dr. Kane on those of Greenland, have so fully demon- 
strated the adequacy of glaciers to produce all the effects attributed 
to them by the theory of Agassiz, that it is now very generally ad- 
mitted that, wherever those phenomena are seen, glaciers must have 

Geology, having demonstrated thus the necessity for a period of 
cold, to account for the phenomena of the surface of the earth,, labored 


under the difficult task of accounting for such change of climate on 
philosophical principles. It is here that the community of the sciences 
is beautifully illustrated. Astronomy comes to the aid of her younger 
sister, and Geology receives from her the solution she could not her- 
self compass. 

Astronomy makes known three great irregularities in the motions 
of the earth, requiring thousands of years each for their recurrence. 
They are 

1. The "precession of the equinoxes," combined with the revolu- 
tion of the line of the apsides, produces a progression in longitude, of 
the aphelion place of the earth, bringing about a coincidence of the 
winter-solstice with the aphelion once in 21,356 years. At the present 
time our aphelion position occurs in the summer season. 

2. Variation of the inclination of the earth's axis to the plane of 
its orbit. This passes through a double oscillation in about ten thou- 
sand years. Its effect is to carry the solstitial point through a small 
variation in latitude, and to that extent prolonging or withdrawing the 
influence of the sun's rays in the polar regions. 

3. Change in the eccentricity of the earth's orbit. This irregu- 
larity passes from maximum to maximum once in about one hundred 
thousand years. Its effect is to lengthen those seasons nearest the 
earth's aphelion, and to shorten those nearest its perihelion. At the 
present time, our aphelion, occurring in the summer season, lengthens 
the warm months to that amount that, combined with the shortening 
effect of perihelion in winter, makes a difference of about eight days 
between the summer and winter months of the year. 

The conditions favorable for polar glaciation are as follows : 

1. Winter-solstice in aphelion. 

2. Obliquity of the ecliptic at rnininmm. 

3. Eccentricity of orbit in maximum. 

The coincidence of these three causes would produce the greatest 
glaciation. The least multiple of their periods of recurrence is about 
forty-two million years. The second cause may combine a great many 
times with either of the others within that interval. Its effect being 
quite inferior to that of either of the other two, it may be disregarded, 
and the time required for the combination of the other two would 
then be 4,200,000 years, which would necessarily be preceded and fol- 
lowed by a number of approximations. These would occasion corre- 
sponding periods of increase and diminution in the degree of cold that 
would not reach the maximum cold incident to their coincidence. 
Probably the most powerful of the causes enumerated is the occur- 
rence of the winter-solstice in aphelion, which alone may have pro- 
duced the last glacial epoch. In that case changes in the prevalence 
of the ice would be due to the operation of cause No. 2, or the ob- 
liquity of the ecliptic. The earth is now 622 years past its period of 
south-polar glaciation in the operation of cause No. 1, and is entering 


upon its period of north-polar glaciation. Its last glacial epoch in the 
operation of this cause occurred in the Northern Hemisphere in its 
acme of intensity at a period 11,300 years ago. 

The effect of these irregularities in the motions of the earth on the 
climate has been ably discussed by Mr. James Croll, of the Geological 
Survey of Scotland (" Transactions of the Geological Society of Glas- 
gow," vol. ii., part iii., p. 1V7), and detailed calculations on the perio- 
dicity of these variations have been made by Mr. Stockwell, of Cleve- 
land, Ohio. 

Let us endeavor to picture the recurrence of one of these coinci- 
dences, and to rehearse some of the phenomena of an actual period 
of continental ice. 

The precipitation of the winter season is all preserved on the 
ground in the form of snow and ice. It constitutes what has been de- 
nominated neve. The advent of the summer season is not powerful 
enough to melt the accumulations of the long winter. The neve is 
simply converted into granulated ice. Another winter adds to the 
thickness left by the preceding. Another summer changes it to ice. 
Some water may be the result, but it is congealed in the streams, or 
perhaps escapes to the ocean. This succession is continued, with a 
slow increment of cold, through thousands of years. The ice-mantle 
becomes continental in its extent. Its thickness reaches hundreds of 
feet. Toward the pole this may be increased to thousands or tens of 
thousands. It has a great weight. It presses upon itself. Its lower 
portions yield to the inequalities of the rocky surface. The mass seeks 
the valleys. It slides down the mountain-sides, carrying the debris 
which it detaches in its descent. It covers the broad plains. The ac- 
cumulations toward the north, ever increasing, press out toward the 
south, the foot of the ice-sheet. A general movement is developed by 
reason of the gravity of the mass, the fracturing and regelation of 
its parts, and the molecular forces that allow it to yield under pressure. 
Each recurring summer develops more or less water. This water per- 
haps enters the openings and crevasses, and washes out some of the 
obstructions, facilitating the general progress. The main water-sheds 
separating valleys serve also as ice-sheds. The valleys are more rapidly 
dug out by the rasping and ploughing movement of the glacier than 
are the highlands. In the valleys the ice flows most rapidly. In the 
valleys, also, the ice is prolonged much farther into warmer latitudes 
than on the highlands. Southward, prolongations of the ice-sheet fol- 
low the north-south outcropping edges of argillaceous formations. 
Lake Michigan lies in one of these troughs. Lake Huron lies in an- 
other. Lakes Erie and Ontario are only shallow basins dug out of 
soft rocks by ice that passed southwestwardly. The shale-bed that 
gave rise to Lake Ontario also determined the location of Georgian 
Bay and of Green Bay. The basin of Lake Erie is much shallower 
toward the west end than toward the east, and it finally runs out alto- 


gether by reason of the westward attenuation, and finally the entire 
disappearance of the salina formation in which it is largely excavated. 
The ice was then thrust up on to harder rocks that form the basis of 
Northwestern Ohio and Northeastern Indiana. Lake Michigan was 
terminated southwardly by the eastward trend of the rocky outcrops 
at an angle that the ice could not follow. The Red-River flats of Min- 
nesota correspond to the Winnipeg basin in the same way that the 
Black-Swamp district of Ohio does to the Lake-Erie basin, or the 
prairie district surrounding the southern end of Lake Michigan does 
to the basin of that lake. 

It must be remembered, however, that throughout the continuance 
of the ice-period the motion of the ice brought it finally into a climate 
where it could not exist as ice. It gave rise to countless streams of 
water. The broad, level country of the Northwest was not sufficiently 
irregular to gather the ice, and consequently not the water, into val- 
leys having a north-south direction. The water from the ice acted all 
along the ice-foot with a comparatively uniform energy. If it was ul- 
timately gathered into large streams, it must have been at considerable 
distances from the glacial field. It must be remembered also that the 
accumulated precipitation of the entire year over broad, continental 
areas was preserved from thaw till it arrived at the latitude of the 
limitation of the glacier, and there its full volume was discharged. It 
was as if the entire precipitation of the continent say from the lati- 
tude of Chicago to the north-pole were concentrated on a belt of ter- 
ritory, say of fifty miles in width, running east and west across the 
continent, and having the direction of the marginal line of the ice- 
foot. Thus a constant sheet of turbid, running water would act on all 
objects over which the ice-foot retreated. 

We must not forget, in recalling to our imagination the scenes and 
events of the ice-period, to inquire what were the position and the con- 
dition of the drift to which it gave origin. 

In regions far to the north, the eye probably would not be able to 
discern any object except that of the universal ice. The surface of 
the ground would be thousands of feet below the traveller, if we may 
be permitted to presume so hardy a human being. Like Dr. Kane ex- 
ploring the great Humboldt Glacier of Greenland, he would meet with 
countless obstacles and dangers. But those obstacles would consist 
of hummocky ice, or crevassed ice, or perpendicular ice-walls. He 
would see no soil, no rocks, no vegetation, no animal life. The winds 
would whistle, storms would rage, snow would be drifted about, and 
the ineffectual sun would rarely venture to smile on the dreary waste. 
Farther to the south, the explorer would find isolated spots of bare 
ground. He would see about them the accumulated debris of bowl- 
ders, gravel, and dust, from constant winds, spread more or less over 
the ice-field, staining its painful whiteness, and showing the more grate- 
ful aspect of earth and stones. Another hundred miles farther south, 


and he finds the evidences of the dissolution of the ice-sheet multiply- 
ing. Occasional streams of water run on the surface of the ice, or 
plunge into some of its openings. Deep gorges reveal multitudes of 
fragments of rock frozen into the ice, and occasional bands of dirt and 
gravel embraced in the solid ice. The surface is everywhere dirty, or 
perhaps muddy, from the wasting away of the surface of the glacier. 
He meets frequent openings, in which generally water may be seen or 
heard. Into these gorges the debris slides down the sloping sides, in- 
creasing the insecurity of his footsteps. Still farther south, the gen- 
eral surface is covered with a pulpy earth, mingled with stones and 
bowlders. The ice is evidently much attenuated. The areas of firm, 
uncovered terra firma are wonderfully increased in size and frequency. 
The ice itself is crowded into the valleys, or, if it be in a broad, level 
tract, like the State of Minnesota, the surface is covered with the 
debris of the conflict of ice with earth, the ice itself being visible only 
in those places where crevasses reveal it, or where deep gorges are 
worn by running streams. Travelling still farther south, the explorer 
would come upon large areas in which he would not be able to know 
whether the glacier underlay the superficial drift or not. If he were 
to stop on one of those wide areas, and make his latitude and longi- 
tude certain, by a series of astronomical observations, he might find to 
his surprise, after a few years' residence, that his observatory and ap- 
paratus had been bodily carried, by an imperceptible motion, some rods 
to the south. If he were to penetrate the earth on which his foothold 
seems so steadfast, he might find, equally to his surprise, that he was 
still riding on the surface of a vast ice-sheet, the earth and soil of 
which may have furnished him annual crops of potatoes and barley. 
In other places in the same latitude he would find the ice laid pare 
over considerable areas, washed clean by the drainage incident to the 
dissolution of the glacier. The turbid streams would be vastly larger 
than those which occupy the same beds to-day. They would run with 
tenfold more violence. The drift-materials would be freed from the 
clayey portions, and be spread along their channels in curious and 
varying assortment. In some places the thickness of the whole sheet 
of drift would be brought under this washing and stratifying process. 
In others, the ice gently dies out, and lets it down on the rocky surface 
without any change from the condition in which it lay on the glacier. 
If, at last, the explorer travels far enough south to actually leave 
the area of the glacier, what is the condition of the surface ? It is 
plainly one of glacier-drift. In some places he will find the various 
parts, such as gravel-stones, sand, clay, and bowlders, confusedly min- 
gled, showing no assortment or stratification. The clay which has re- 
sulted from the grinding action of the glacier on the surface on which 
it lay, from dust blown over the ice by violent winds, as in the Alps, 
and from the sediment washed on the ice from the higher knobs that 
first became uncovered, fills all the interstices so closely as to make of 


the mass an impervious and uniform hard-pan. This has generally- 
been denominated " unmodified drift." It is that which escaped the 
assorting action of the water issuing from the glacier. In other places, 
this unmodified drift would be superficially assorted, showing the effect 
of running water after its deposition or in the act of deposition. Prob- 
ably very much of that portion of the drift that lay in the course of 
the broad Mississippi, yet south of the limit of the glacier, would be 
superficially worked over, losing much of its clay. We actually see 
vast tracts on the Upper Mississippi, and even in the latitude of St. 
Paul, in which the surface consists, to a considerable depth, principally 
of stratified, sand and gravel. He would also find parallel ridges of 
drift-materials, consisting largely of the coarser portions, and showing 
stratification where water passed over or through it in being deposited. 
Some such ridges would still retain the most or all of the original 
clayey portions. This would be the case where the drainage was not 
powerful. Such ridges mark the places at which the retreat of the ice 
was temporarily stopped by a period of greater cold, the slow advan- 
cing of the ice under the propulsive forces already named serving to 
heap up a greater amount of detritus all along the ice-margin. These 
ridges are known as moraines, and they occur in all parts of the drift- 
latitudes. They are developed on a very grand scale in Northwestern 

There is still one important point in this discussion that must not 
be omitted. It is plain to see that, in some parts of the Northwest, 
the advance of the continental glacier would be up gentle slopes, in- 
stead of descending an incline. These slopes, of course, present ob- 
structions to the movement of the ice in those directions. It is true, 
also, that the continental glacier would tend to level the country and 
obliterate such northward slopes. But, in the later part of the ice 
period, the valleys would be the last relinquished, and would be deeper 
dug by isolated branches or spurs from the main ice-sheet, which would 
conform in their direction to the contour of the valleys they might oc- 
cupy. All glaciers, however, whether continental or local, would avoid 
an ascent if there were any other passage. Now, when a glacier, pro- 
pelled by a force exerted far to the north, meets with a gentle slope 
toward the north, the water which issues from its foot Will be con- 
fined in a lake about the foot of the ice, and will rise to the height of 
the lowest outlet. Into this lake may flow streams of considerable 
size, bringing their sediment from the south, east, or west, according 
to the topography. Here we should have, then, a constant accession 
of drift from two sources, the chief of which would be, of course, the 
glacier itself. As this drift is brought under the influence of standing 
water, its fine parts are floated away by currents and waves, to be 
spread over the bottom of the lake in horizontal laminations, the prin- 
cipal portion, and notably the bowlders, sinking at once to the bottom 
unassorted. Thus, by the continued slow withdrawal of the field of 


ice, the result is a layer of unassorted drift overlaid by a thickness of 
handsomely-laminated fine clay and sand. This combination of cir- 
cumstances must have occurred south of Lakes Erie and Huron, pro- 
ducing the Black Swamp and the Cottonwood Swamp in Ohio and 
Michigan, about the south end of Lake Michigan, and over an exten- 
sive fiat south of the Winnipeg basin. 

All the phenomena of the drift in the Northwest are, heuce, at- 
tributable to the approach, long duration, and slow disappearance of 
the glacier-ice of Prof. L. Agassiz. It certainly seems unwarrantable 
to propose upward and downward movements of the crust, involving 
the submergence of the continent, when one simpler cause can be 
shown sufficient to produce the known effects. The submergence of 
the New-England coast to the depth of about seventy feet is all that 
Prof. J. D. Dana finds warranted by a vigorous inspection of the drift- 
deposits about New Haven, Connecticut. The four-hundred-foot 
" beach," near Montreal, may have the same origin as the so-called 
" beaches " that rise several hundred feet higher in the State of Ohio. 
The Champlain and Terrace Epochs find no application to the drift in 
the Northwest, as those terms are defined and used in the East. There 
is abundant evidence throughout the West of a former higher stage 
of the rivers. This higher stage may, however, be explained by re- 
ferring it to the large increase of water incident to the melting of the 
glacier only after reaching the latitude of a warmer climate. The ter- 
races have not, moreover, in the Northwest, generally that system or 
uniformity of height and arrangement necessary to warrant their ref- 
erence to successive reductions in the volume of water, but are usually 
due to a variable resistance offered by the banks or rocks in which 
they occur, arising from their stratification. 

No well-authenticated fossil remains from the hard-pan drift have 
yet been met with. Statements have been published of the finding of 
fossil remains in the unmodified drift in various parts of the Northwest, 
but they are generally based on the reports of non-scientific observers, 
and must be taken with great caution, unless verified by a geologist 
who has definite ideas of what " modified " or " unmodified " drift is. 
It would not be improbable that, near the southern margin of the ice- 
field, the remains of vegetation, and even of animals, should be in- 
volved in the drift undergoing transportation, but their structures are 
too fragile to withstand the grinding incident to the general progress 
of the ice, and would not bear transportation from northern latitudes. 
Much uncertainty is also thrown on the true age of vegetable remains 
reported from the drift in the Northwest, by the wide-spread but hardly 
distinguishable clays of the Tertiary and Cretaceous formations, which 
contain modern species of wood and leaves, associated with marine 

Believing, therefore, in the glacier origin, directly, of the Post-Ter- 
tiary deposits of the Northwest, it is impossible to concur in the suppo- 


sition recently expressed by an eminent authority relative to the prob- 
able blending of those deposits with the marine deposits of the Tertiary : 
" A careful study of these modern deposits " (meaning the Quaternary) 
" will undoubtedly show consecutive links by w T hich it was united to 
the Tertiary period, in the same manner as the Cretaceous and Tertiary 
are connected." ' It is difficult to conceive how the sedimentary de- 
posits of an epoch of submergence, like the Tertiary, which abound in 
marine fossils, can show, however carefully studied, consecutive links 
of connection with an epoch of debris transported and deposited 
through the agency of vast continental glaciers. 

St. Anthony, Minnesota, March, 1873. 


By Captain DOUGLAS GALTON, C.B., F. E. S. 


THE question of saving fuel for cooking purposes is even more im- 
portant than economy in warming ; because cooking is an opera- 
tion required every day in the year, and the waste of fuel in cooking 
is even more considerable than in warming. 

An ordinary cooking-range in houses, which, for convenience, may 
be designated middle-class houses, is derived from the time when the 
same fire was used for cooking and for warming. It is interesting to 
consider Count Rumford's remarks on this question. He largely de- 
veloped the use of steam for cooking in large establishments, but, in 
considering private kitchens, he showed that nine-tenths of the heat 
produced in cooking operations were wasted, and only one-tenth utilized 
in cooking, by the use of open fireplaces. He laid down the following 
principles on fireplace construction : 

1. Each fireplace should have its grate on which the fuel must be 
placed, and its separate ash-pit, which must be closed by a door well 
fitted in its frame and furnished with a register for regulating the 
quantity of air admitted into the fireplace through the grate. It 
should also have its separate canal for carrying off the smoke into the 
chimney, whicji canal should be furnished with a damper or register. 
By means of this damper and of the ash-pit door, the rapidity of com- 
bustion and generation of heat is regulated, and on the proper use of 
the two registers the economy of fuel will much depend. 

3. In fireplaces for all boilers which are too heavy to be easily 
lifted with the hand, an opening just above the level of the grate 
should be made for introducing fuel to the fire, which opening must 

1 Prof. F. V. Hayden, in " Geology of Wyoming." 


be closed by a close-fitting stopper or door. In fireplaces constructed 
for small stew-pans this opening may be omitted, and the fuel be 
introduced through the opening into which the stew-pan is fitted, by 
removing the stew-pan occasionally for the purpose. 

4. All portable stew-pans should be circular, and suspended in their 
fireplace from the circular rim. The best form for large fixed boilers 
is an oblong square, broad and shallow rather than narrow, and deep, 
and it should be of thin metal. 

5. All boilers and stew-pans should be fitted with covers to render 
them well adapted for confining the heat. The best arrangement is to 
make the covers of thin sheets of tinned iron, and double, that is, with 
an air space between the outer and inner cover. 

We have, during the last twenty years, introduced, as a rule, close 
ranges. They are certainly cleaner and more convenient for cooking, 
and, if great care is exercised in the use of the dampers, they will be 
found more economical than open fires. But, as a rule, they are based 
on the principle of making one fire perform a variety of operations. 
Independently of the question of a combined fire, as compared with 
the separate fires advocated by Count Rumford, a consideration of the 
form of modern kitchen-ranges will show that most of the principles 
laid down by him have been entirely neglected. The doors of the 
fireplace and ash-pit seldom fit close ; the boilers are rather deep and 
narrow than broad and shallow ; the use of the hot-plate prevents the 
stew-pans from being suspended from the rims for the fire to play 
round them; the use of double covers for saucepans and boilers is 
rather a rarity than a usual arrangement. 

To realize the question of economy of fuel, it is necessary to con- 
sider, in the first place, what a given quantity of fuel is capable of 
doing. As regards hot water, if water is kept at a temperature of 
200, or from that to 210, the gases from the fire can, after communi- 
cating the heat to the boiler, pass off into the chimney at a tempera- 
ture of little beyond that point ; but, if the water be allowed to boil, 
in the first place a large amount of latent heat is absorbed by the 
steam, which is lost if the steam passes off into the air or the chimney, 
and, in the second place, it will be found that the gases, after they 
pass off from the boiler, will have a temperature of as much as 300, 
400, and even 500. Unless, therefore, water is required to be actu- 
ally boiling for use, if the water is permitted to boil, a great quantity 
of heat is wasted up the chimney. For household purposes it is never 
necessary that the water in the boiler should exceed 200. Tea, to be 
good, should be made (as clearly shown by Mr. Francis Galton in his 
"Art of Travel") with water of a temperature of from 180 to 200. 
Very few culinary operations require the water really to boil, and, 
when boiling water is wanted, it is required in a saucepan standing on 
the fire. All operations of cleaning, etc. (except washing clothes), 
require water at a very much lower temperature than 212. If, however, 


water at a higher temperature is wanted, it can be supplied up to about 
230 without the generation of steam, by heating it under pressure ; this 
can be attained by having a close boiler fed from a cistern placed at 
the top of the house. For the preparation of preserves and some 
other cooking operations, such a system is most convenient. 

One pound of coal should raise from fifty to sixty gallons of water 
from 45 to 212, and, when raised, very little fuel is required to main- 
tain it, in a properly-constructed boiler, at that temperature. The 
total amount of water, at such a temperature, used daily, in an ordi- 
nary middle-class house, does not exceed thirty or forty gallons, and, 
therefore, if the boiler were made so as to absorb as much heat as pos- 
sible, the hot water used in an ordinary middle-class house, with a 
family of ten or twelve persons, ought not, with thorough economy, to 
consume more than one-sixth of a ton of coals in the year. Count 
Rumford shows in his treatise that 25 lbs. of bread ought to be baked 
with one pound of coal, and that 100 lbs. of meat should be cooked 
with 2\ lbs. of coal. If, therefore, we fully utilized our fuel, it is clear 
that, in the preparation of our food and hot water for domestic pur- 
poses, -J- lb. of coal per head of the population ought to be a sufficient 
daily allowance, which would be equivalent to one-twelfth of a ton per 
annum, and in large households even less than that quantity ought to 
suffice. I do not suppose that we should ever attain to this minimum 
of consumption, but it is well to consider what the standard is, so that 
we may not rest satisfied till it has been much more nearly approached 
than hitherto. 

Economy has, as I before observed, latterly been sought in com- 
bined apparatus. "Where large numbers of persons have to be cooked 
for, and where, consequently, a carefully-constructed apparatus is al- 
ways worked to its full extent, the results which have been obtained 
show a very moderate consumption of fuel ; but the same apparatus, 
when used for smaller numbers of persons, gives results not favorable 
to economy. 

The boilers in use in barracks, when I first took up the question, 
required from 16 ozs. to 20 ozs. of coal per head to supply water for 
breakfast and tea, and washing up, and to make soup for dinner for 
fifty or sixty men. The boilers I introduced would perform the same 
duty with from 3 to 4 ozs. of coal for each person cooked for, provided 
the number amounted to fifty or sixty persons. The ovens for roast- 
ing, which I introduced into barracks, would roast and bake with 1 oz. 
of coal for each person cooked for, when cooking for the full number 
for which the oven was designed, and for such numbers as 200 to 
400 persons ; smaller ovens would require 2 ozs. per head when cook- 
ing for 50 men. Of course, to produce these effects, great care was 

Messrs. Benham introduced cooking apparatus which, when cook- 
ing for the full number of 300 soldiers, would perform the total daily 


cooking and supply of hot water in barracks, with from two to three 
ounces of coal per person cooked for. 

Captain Warren constructed an apparatus to boil, bake, steam, 
roast, and fry, and provide hot water, which, when cooking for about 
100 men, required somewhere about 2f ozs. for each person cooked for, 
but, when cooking for forty men, required 6 oz. per head, and when 
cooking for sixteen men the average of several days amounted to 9 ozs. 
or 10 ozs. per man cooked for, but on one or two of these days the con- 
sumption did not exceed 5 ozs. for each person cooked for. 

These apparatus supplied to the men all the cooking and hot water 
necessary. The results show what degree of economy has been reached 
in ordinary practice with soldiers, who are not proverbial for care, and 
what, therefore, should be the standard of economy to which we have 
a right to expect to attain. No doubt, private houses containing six- 
teen persons might require more hot water or more cooking, but ac- 
cording to these facts, as to ascertained consumption of fuel, the ex- 
penditure of fuel in the kitchen for a family consisting of sixteen 
persons might easily be reduced to 1^ or 2 tons per year, and in all 
these apparatus further elements of economy remain to be developed. 

The conclusions, however, to which I have been led in my consid- 
eration of this question, are, that with these apparatus, and, indeed, 
with all kitchen-ranges in use, the waste of heat lies in the number 
of functions the fire has to perform. It must warm water, it must heat 
the oven, it must stew, and grill, or toast, and sometimes roast at the 
open fire, and each of these processes requires a different condition of 
heat. Hot water requires a temperature of 200 to 210, a roasting- 
oven of about 450, a baking-oven probably 350 ; grilling is per- 
formed on a clear flame, the temperature of which is probably 1,300. 
Now, when the fire is in an efficient condition to perform one of these 
functions, it is also in an efficient condition to perform the others, and, 
although, by means of dampers, it may be somewhat checked in the 
performance of its full functions in certain directions, there is no 
doubt that an enormous amount of heat is wasted through the agency 
of those parts which are not wanted to be in operation. When the 
oven is not wanted, it is affording a means for the heat to escape rap- 
idly, especially if ventilated as a roasting-oven. The boiler is supplied 
with heat beyond its requirements, and generally abstracts a large 
quantity of spare heat, which passes off in the shape of steam. I as- 
sume that the cook closes the dampers in order, as far as possible, to 
limit the action of the fire when cooking is not going on, but in prac- 
tice this is difficult to insure. With these combined apparatus, the 
fuel consumed will be in proportion to the various operations which 
the fire is arranged to perform, and not in proportion to the limited 
work required when only one or other of the operations is wanted. 
When, for instance, the fire is only wanted to heat water, a great 
waste of heat will be going on, from the heat passing off from the 


oven, hot-plate, and front of the fire. For this reason, the combined 
apparatus can never be so economical in fuel as separate apparatus ; 
while, however, apparatus of this class, if not very carefully worked, 
waste fuel, they, to some extent, save trouble to the cook. 

I have already mentioned several points of detail where fuel could 
be saved in our kitchen-ranges, viz., by great attention to the close 
fitting of the ash-pit and fire-grate doors, the use of double covers to 
saucepans and boilers, the use of sand on the hot-plate to prevent the 
escape of so much heat from that part ; and, beyond these, an impor- 
tant point in securing economy is the separation of those culinary pro- 
cesses which require different gradations of heat. The three main 
parts of the ordinary cooking apparatus are the oven for baking and 
roasting, and the bbiler, and the hot-plate. If the boiler is to be of 
the form most effectual in saving fuel, the flame and gases from the 
fire should play under and round every part of it ; the water should 
be kept at something under 212, so that the gases, after leaving the 
boiler, may not enter the flue much above that temperature, and, inas- 
much as that is a higher temperature than is necessary for the purpose 
of producing a sufficient draught in an ordinary chimney, the heat in 
these gases should be still further utilized. In the first place, they 
should be used to warm the water which will be required to replace 
what is drawn off from the boiler ; and, in the second place, an econo- 
my can be obtained by employing the gases, which pass off into the 
chimney at a temperature above what is required for creating an effi- 
cient draught, to warm the air supplied to the fire for purposes of com- 
bustion. The experiments which I have made on the supply of warmed 
air to feed the fire have, unfortunately, not been worked out sufficiently 
to enable me to give them in a clear form with exact results ; but an 
economy of from six to nine per cent, might be obtained from this 

Then, as regards the oven. The baker's oven, of fire-brick, in which 
the fire is made inside the oven, and the whole heat retained in and 
reflected back from the sides and top and bottom, is a very economical 
instrument when in continual use. With iron ovens, attached to a 
kitchen range, the case is different. An oven which roasts requires a 
temperature of from 400 to 450 at least. Therefore, to maintain this 
temperature, the gases must pass off into the flue at a temperature 
even higher ; when the oven is a roaster, a considerable volume of air 
is being continually passed through it to carry off the steam from the 
meat. This air, if admitted cold, as is the case with many ranges, acts 
so as to cool down the interior, and therefore additional fuel has to 
be consumed to counteract this cooling-down process. Now, however 
good may be the conducting power of the material used for ovens or 
boilers, a coating of soot diminishes the conducting power very rap- 
idly, and consequently the temperature of the flue conveying heat to 
the oven will always exceed that of the inside of the oven. It is, there- 


fore, of great importance to remove any causes which tend to lower 
the inside temperature. Hence it is desirable to utilize some of the 
heat which passes off, at above 450, into the flue, for the purpose of 
raising the temperature of the air to be admitted into the oven. As a 
general rule, however, and except in some apparatus, under present 
arrangements all this heat is wasted, and it certainly cannot be utilized 
properly so long as one fire is retained to perform so many separate 

The hot-plate is the third important part of the modern close cook- 
ing-range. Count Rumford proposed that the top of a hot-plate should 
be covered with sand, and the sand cleared away only under the sauce- 
pans. In its present shape, the hot-plate wastes an enormous amount 
of heat. It is wasteful, because it radiates the heat largely ; because 
the application of heat to the saucepans is only through the bottom of 
the saucepan, and the bottom of the saucepan is not always in imme- 
diate contact with the flame, but is frequently allowed to receive the 
heat through the medium of the cast-iron hot-plate, which is a very 
moderate conductor of heat. Just consider what the difference of 
effect is. The heat of the flame, if directly acting on the bottom of 
the saucepan, would be 1,200 Fahr., but, unless the hot-plate is red- 
hot, probably not above 450 will pass through, but the heat in the flue 
which heats the hot-plate will be at 1,200, and the spare heat from the 
flame will be wasted up the chimney. The hot-plate should be dis- 
pensed with, if economy is to be made paramount, and charcoal burn- 
ers substituted for it. Where gas is available, the hot-plate can be 
dispensed with without extra trouble to the cook. The gas-burners 
should be properly j)rotected in sunken holes, with side of fire-clay, 
and the saucepans should be dropped into the holes, so that the full 
effect of the heat shall be concentrated on them and round their sides, 
and the gas should be only kept lighted so long as the operation to be 
performed is going on. It may be assumed that one pound of coal is 
equivalent to from 28 to 30 cubic feet of gas ; hence, as permanent fuel, 
gas would not be economical ; but the simplicity of its application 
makes it a very convenient fuel in cooking, and economy is obtained 
from its use, because the full effect of the combustion can be utilized 
as soon as the gas is lighted, the flame can be regulated to any required 
extent, and the gas be extinguished as soon as the required operation 
is performed. 

I have endeavored to enumerate, briefly, the economical conditions 
which should regulate the consumption of fuel for domestic purposes. 
By economy it is meant that, while all necessary operations of warm- 
ing and cooking continue to be performed, the fuel employed should 
be utilized to the utmost. In the kitchen, the daily consumption of 
fuel, in small establishments, should not exceed half a pound of coal 
for each person cooked for, and in large establishments the proportion 
should be smaller. In the consumption of fuel for warming, so many 


conditions have to be considered that no standard can be laid down 
beyond the broad fact already stated that one-sixth of the coal we 
commonly now use would suffice for all our requirements if it were prop- 
erly utilized. I do not, however, anticipate that much progress will 
be made in economy, unless the price of coals should remain at a figure 
which will induce the householder to make himself thoroughly ac- 
quainted with the principles on which the apparatus for warming and 
cooking should be constructed and worked ; for there is no apparatus 
which can be invented which will not depend, to a considerable ex- 
tent, on the manner in which it is attended to. 

The principal conditions which I have enumerated have long been 
known. There is an old saying in South Staffordshire, that " he who 
lives longest must carry coal farthest," and, acting on this, we have, 
year after year, simply wasted millions of tons of coal in our domestic 
fireplaces, because the coal was provided at a small cost, and we 
have had no thought for posterity. 

George Stephenson once said, very happily, that coal represented 
the accumulated rays of the sun laid up in store in by-gone days. 
When this store is gone, the world will have lost the most convenient 
and economical means of generating heat. It is, therefore, a duty, 
which every man owes to posterity r to do his utmost to husband 
this great store. 

I have endeavored to do my part by explaining the conditions 
which should govern the arrangements devised for regulating the con- 
sumption of fuel for domestic purposes. It remains for the public to 
insist on having these principles applied to the various apparatus 
which they adopt. Journal of the Society of Arts. 





PROCEEDING, now, to show that the tendency of modern Phys- 
iology is to prove the existence of a distinct causal relation be- 
tween Physical changes in the Nervous System and definite modes of 
Mental action, it may be well for me to adduce, in limine, the positive 
evidence that all Mental activity is dependent on a Chemical reaction 
between the Blood and the Brain : for, although this is one of the best- 
established facts in Physiology, it is, I believe, taken very little ac- 
count of by Metaphysicians. The Brain is supplied with Blood by 
four Arterial trunks, which enter the cranial cavity at no great dis- 
tance from one another, and then unite into the " Circle of Willis ; " 


from which are given off" the various branches that distribute arterial 
blood to every part of the brain-substance. After traversing this, the 
blood returns by the Veins, greatly altered in its chemical composi- 
tion ; especially as regards the loss of free oxygen, and its replace- 
ment by various oxy-compounds of carbon, hydrogen, phosphorus, etc. 
that have been formed by a process analogous to combustion. Now 
if one, two, or three of the Arterial trunks be tied, the total supply of 
blood to the Brain is diminished ; but, in virtue of the " Circle of Wil- 
lis," no part is entirely deprived of blood ; and the functional activity 
of the Brain is still maintained. If, however, the fourth artery is com- 
pressed so as to prevent the passage of blood, there is an immediate 
and complete suspension of activity ; the animal becoming as uncon- 
scious as if it had been stunned by a severe blow, but recovering as 
soon as the blood is again allowed to flow through the artery. In 
fact, the "stunned" state produced by a blow on the head is not 
directly dependent upon the effect of that blow on the Brain, which 
may have sustained no perceptible injury whatever ; the state of in- 
sensibility being due to the paralysis of the Heart and suspension of 
the Circulation, induced by the " shock : " and the like paralysis with 
the same result may be produced by a blow on the Epigastrium (act- 
ing on the great "solar plexus "of nerves), or some overpowering 
Mental emotion. Again, there is a curious affection termed Hysteric 
Coma, which consists in the sudden supervention of complete insen- 
sibility, and the equally sudden and complete return of conscious in- 
telligence, without any other indication of Brain-disorder. The in- 
sensibility may come on while the patient is talking, so as to interrupt 
the utterance of a sentence ; and, the moment that it passes off, the 
series of words is taken up and completed, without the patient being 
aware that it has been interrupted. With our present improved 
knowledge of the action of the " vaso-motor " system of Nerves in 
producing local contractions of the Arteries, and of its liability to be 
influenced by those Emotional irregularities in which Hysteria essen- 
tially consists, we can scarcely doubt that this affection is due to a 
temporary disturbance of the Circulation through that agency. Fur- 
ther, if the Blood transmitted to the Brain, though not deficient in 
quantity, be depraved in quality by the want of Oxygen and the ac- 
cumulation of Carbonic acid (as happens in Asphyxia), there is a grad- 
ually increasing torpor of the Mental Faculties, ending in complete 

Thus the dependence of Mental activity of even the most element- 
ary kind, upon the Physical changes kept up by the circulation of 
oxygenated Blood through the Brain, can be shown experientially to 
be just as direct and immediate as is the dependence of the Electric 
activity of a Galvanic battery upon the analogous changes taking 
place between its Metals and its exciting Liquid. If we say that 
Electricity is the product of Chemical change in the one case, I see 


not how we can refuse to regard Thought as the product of Chemical 
change in the other; nor (in the view that all the Forces of Nature 
are simply expressions of Mind) do I see that we need entertain any 
repugnance to such a view. I do not say that it explains any Mental 
phenomenon. No sound Physicist would say that he can " explain " 
how it is that Electricity is generated by Chemical change ; but he 
knows that such a relation of cause and effect exists between the two 
orders of phenomena, that every Chemical change is accompanied by 
an Electric disturbance ; so that, whenever he witnesses Electric dis- 
turbance, he looks with assurance for some Chemical change as its 
Physical Cause. And in precisely the same sense, and in no other, I 
affirm that the Physiologist must regard some change in the Nervous 
substance of the Brain as the immediate Physical cause of all auto- 
matic Mental action. If this be admitted of Sensational conscious- 
ness (and how can it be denied ?), we can scarcely help admitting it 
of Emotional ; and, if of Emotional, why not of Ideational ? 

There is no part of our purely Physical activity, the relation of 
which to Physical conditions is more obvious and more intimate, than 
that Reproduction of past states of Consciousness; which when sup- 
plemented by the recognition of them as having been formerly ex- 
perienced we call Memory. It is now very generally accepted by 
Physiologists as (to say the least) a probable doctrine, that any Idea 
which has once passed through the Mind, may be thus reproduced, at 
however long an interval, through the instrumentality of Suggestive 
action ; the recurrence of any other state of Consciousness with which 
that Idea was originally linked by Association, being adequate to 
awaken it also from its dormant or latent condition, and to bring it 
within the " sphere of consciousness." And as our Ideas are thus 
linked in " trains " or " series," which further inosculate with each 
other like the branch-lines of a railway or the ramifications of an 
artery, so, it is considered, an Idea which has been " hidden in the 
obscure recesses of the mind" for years perhaps for a lifetime and 
which seems to have completely faded out of the conscious Memory 
(having never either recurred Automatically, or been found capable of 
recall by Volitional Recollection, or been recognized as a past expe- 
rience when again brought before the mind), may be reproduced, as 
by the touching of a spring, through a nexus of Suggestions, which 
we can sometimes trace out continuously, but of which it does not 
seem necessary that all the intermediate steps should fall within our 
cognizance. Such a "reproduction" not unfrequently occurs when 
persons, revisiting certain scenes of their childhood, have found the 
renewal of the Sensorial impressions of places bring vividly back to 
their minds the remembrance of events which had occurred in connec- 
tion with them ; and which had not only been long forgotten by them- 
selves, but, if narrated to them by others, would not have been recog- 
nized by them as having ever formed part of their own experience. 
vol. in. 20 


And it is not a little significant that the basis of such Memories ap- 
pears capable of being laid at a very early period of life ; as in the two 
following cases, of which the first is recorded by Dr. Abercrombie, 
while the second was mentioned to me by the subject of it : 

" A lady, in the last stage of chronic disease, was carried from London to a 
lodging in the country. There her infant daughter was taken to visit her, and, 
after a short interview, carried back to town. The lady died a few days after, 
and the daughter grew up without any recollection of her mother, till she was 
of mature age. At this time she happened to be taken into the room in which 
her mother died, without knowing it to have been so. She started on entering 
it, and, when a friend who was with her asked the cause of her agitation, re- 
plied, ' I have a distinct impression of having been in this room before, and that 
a lady who lay in that corner, and seemed very ill, leaned over me and wept.' " 
{Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers, fifth edition, p. 120.) 

" Several years ago, the Rev. S. Hansard, now Rector of Bethnal Green, was 
doing clerical duty for a time at Hurstmonceaux, in Sussex ; and, while there, 
he one day went over with a party of friends to Pevensey Castle, which he did 
not remember to have ever previously visited. As he approached the gate-way, 
he became conscious of a very vivid impression of having seen it before ; and he 
' seemed to himself to see,' not only the gate-way itself, but donkeys beneath 
the arch, and people on the top of it. His conviction that he must have visited 
the Castle on some former occasion, although he had neither the slightest re- 
membrance of such a visit, nor any knowledge of having ever been in the neigh- 
borhood previously to his residence at Hurstmonceaux, made him inquire from 
his mother if she could throw any light on the matter. She at once informed 
him that being in that part of the country when he was about eighteen months 
old, she had gone over with a large party, and had taken him in the pannier of 
a donkey ; that the elders of the party, having brought lunch with them, had 
eaten it on the roof of the gate-way, where they would have been seen from be- 
low, while he had been left on the ground with the attendants and donkeys. 
This case is remarkable for the vividness of the Sensorial impression (it may be 
worth mentioning that Mr. Hansard has a decidedly artistic temperament), and 
for the reproduction of details which were not likely to have been brought up 
in conversation, even if the subject of them had happened to hear the visit men- 
tioned as an event of his childhood ; and of such mention he has no remem- 
brance whatever." 

Now, there is very strong reason to believe that what is described 
as a storing-up of Ideas in the Memory is the Psychological expres- 
sion of Physical changes in the Cerebrum, by which Ideational states 
are permanently registered or recorded ; so that the " traces " left by 
them, although remaining so long outside the " sphere of conscious- 
ness " as to have seemed non-existent, may be revived again in full 
vividness under certain special conditions just as the invisible im- 
pression left upon the sensitive paper of the Photographer is " devel- 
oped " into a picture by the application of particular chemical sub- 
stances. It must be freely admitted that we have at present no 
certain knowledge of the precise mode in which this record is effected ; 
but, looking at the manner in which the Sensori-motor apparatus, which 


is the instrument of our bodily activity, shapes itself to the mode in 
which it is habitually exercised, we seem justined in assuming that 
the same thing is true of the Cerebrum, which is the instrument of 
our mental activity. For in no other way does it seem possible to 
account for the fact of very frequent occurrence, and noticed in a pre- 
vious paper, that the presence of a Fever-poison in the blood pervert- 
ing the normal activity of the Cerebrum so as to produce Delirium 
brings within the " sphere of consciousness " the " traces " of expe- 
riences long since past, of which, in the ordinary condition, there was 
no remembrance whatever. 

The same occurrence has been noticed as a consequence of acciden- 
tal blows on the head ; though these more commonly occasion the 
loss than the recovery of a language. The following case of this kind 
is mentioned by Dr. Abercrombie, as having occurred in St. Thomas's 
Hospital : 

" A man who had been in a state of stupor consequent upon an injury of 
the head, on his partial recovery spoke a language which nobody in the hospital 
understood, but which was soon ascertained to be Welsh. It was then discov- 
ered that he had been thirty years absent from Wales, and that, before the 
accident, he had entirely forgotten his native language. On his perfect recov- 
ery, he completely forgot his Welsh again, and recovered the English language." 
(Op. cit., p. 148.) 

It seems perfectly clear, then, that, under what we cannot but term 
purely Material conditions, strictly Mental phenomena present them- 
selves. It is common to the whole series of cases, that the Automatic 
play of the " Mechanism of Thought " does that which Volition is un- 
able to effect. Whether it be the toxic condition of the Blood, or the 
simple excitement of the Cerebral Circulation generally, or the special 
direction of Blood to a particular part of the Brain, it is beyond our 
present power to tell ; but, as all Brain-change is (like the action of 
any other mechanism) the manifestation of Force, the production of 
these unusual Mental phenomena, by the instrumentality of an unusual 
reaction between the Blood and the Brain-substance, is no more diffi- 
cult of comprehension than that of ordinary forms of Psychical ac- 
tivity, which we have seen reason to regard as the results of the 
translation (so to speak) of one form of Force into another. 

The intimacy of the relation between the Psychical phenomena 
of Memory and Physical conditions of the Brain is further shown, by 
the effect of Fatigue and the impaired Nutrition of Old Age in weak- 
ening the Memory, and of disease and Injury of the Brain in impair- 
ing or destroying it. Every one is conscious of the difference in the 
activity of the reproductive faculty in which Memory consists, accord- 
ing as his mind is " fresh," or his head feels " tired." The latter state, 
in which the Automatic activity and the directing power of the Will 
are alike reduced, is clearly dependent, like the feeling of muscular 
fatigue, on the deterioration of the Organ, or of the Blood, or of both 


combined, which results from the prolonged exercise of it : and it is 
especially in our inability to recollect something which we wish to call 
to mind, that this failure of power shows itself. An interval of repose 
completely restores the power, obviously (to the mind of the Physiolo- 
gist) by the renovation of the worn-out Brain-tissue, and by the puri- 
fication of the Blood that has become charged with the products of 
its " waste." The impairment of the Memory in Old Age commonly 
shows itself in regard to new impressions ; those of the earlier period 
of life not only remaining in full distinctness, but even, it would seem, 
increasing in vividness, from the fact that the Ego is not distracted 
from attending to them by the continual influx of impressions jaro- 
duced by passing events. The extraordinary persistence of early im- 
pressions, when the Mind seems almost to have ceased to register new 
ones, is in remarkable accordance with the Law of Nutrition referred 
to in a previous paper. It is when the Brain is growing, that the 
direction of its structure can be most strongly and persistently given 
to it. Thus the Habits of Thought come to be formed, and those 
Nerve-tracks laid down which (as the Physiologist believes) constitute 
the Mechanism of Association, by the time that the Brain has reached 
its maturity ; and the Nutrition of the organ continues to keep up the 
same mechanism, in accordance with the demands upon its activity, 
so long as it is being called into use. Further, during the entire pe- 
riod of vigorous Manhood, the Brain, like the Muscles, may be taking 
on some additional growth, either as a whole, or in special parts ; new 
tissue being developed and kept up by the nutritive process, in accord- 
ance with the modes of action to which the Organ is trained. And in 
this manner a store of "impressions" or "traces" is accumulated, 
which may be brought within the " sphere of consciousness " when- 
ever the right suggesting-strings are touched. But, as the Nutritive 
activity diminishes, the " waste " becomes more rapid than the reno- 
vation ; and it would seem that, while (to use a Commercial analogy) 
the "old-established houses" keep their ground, those later firms 
whose basis is less secure, are the first to crumble away the Nutri- 
tive activity, which yet suffices to maintain the original structure, not 
being capable of keeping the subsequent additions to it in working 
order. This earlier degeneration of fe^er-formed structures is a gen- 
eral fact perfectly familiar to the Physiologist. 

The effects of Disease and Injury on the Memory are so marvellous 
and diverse, that only a very general indication of them can be here 
given. Cases are very common, in which the form of impairment just 
spoken of as characteristic of Old Age shows itself to a yet greater 
extent ; the Brain being so disordered by attacks of Apoplexy or Epi- 
lepsy (for example), that it seems altogether incapable of retaining 
any new impressions, so that the patient does not remember any thing 
that passes from day to day ; while the impressions of events which 
happened long before the commencement of his malady recur with 


greater vividness than ever. The Memory of particular classes of 
Ideas is frequently destroyed ; that, for example, of a certain Lan- 
guage, or of some other branch of Knowledge, or of the patient's do- 
mestic or social relations. Thus a case was recorded by Dr. Beattie, 
of a gentleman, who, after a blow on the head, found that he had lost 
his knowledge of Greek, but did not appear to have suffered in any 
other way. A similar case has been recently communicated to me, 
in which a lad, who lay for three days insensible, in consequence of a 
severe blow on the head, found himself, on recovering, to have lost all 
the Music he had learned, though nothing else had been thus " knocked 
out " of him. Again, Dr. Abercrombie relates a curious case, on the 
authority of an eminent medical friend, in which a surgeon who suf- 
fered an injury of his head by a fall from his horse, on recovering from 
his insensibility gave minute directions in regard to his own treat- 
ment, but was found to have lost all remembrance of having a wife 
and children ; and this did not return until the third day. Similar 
losses of particular Languages, and other kinds of acquired knowl- 
edge, have been noted as the results of Fevers. 

One of the most remarkable results of recent Pathological research 
has been, the discovery of the dependence of the condition termed 
Aphasia, or " loss of memory of words," upon malnutrition of a cer- 
tain part of the Cerebrum ; and the tracing of this malnutrition back 
to an interruption in the supply of Blood. In this curious Mental in- 
firmity (which often begins to show itself before there is any other 
evidence of Cerebral disorder, but which is now recognized as a most 
serious indication of impending mischief), the subject either forgets 
the words he wants for expressing his ideas, or he uses inappropriate 
words in their place. It is obvious that he knows what he wants to 
express, but cannot recall the words in which to convey that knowl- 
edge to others. There is no paralysis of speech, for his articulation is 
quite unaffected ; so that he can repeat the words he wants, if they 
are suggested to him by others. In a case formerly under my obser- 
vation, the Aphasia went on gradually but very slowly increasing for 
three or four years ; showing itself at first as to only a few out-of-the- 
way words, but gradually increasing until no intelligible language 
seemed to be left, except that of swearing, which came forth in a tor- 
rent when any restraint was put on the patient's bodily activity, which 
continued very energetic until near the close of life. In another case 
recently mentioned to me by a medical friend, who was a near con- 
nection of the patient, the disease ran its course in a few months. 
Cases of this kind almost invariably terminate in Apoplexy. Now, it 
may be said that we have here only the evidence of synchronous dis- 
ease of the Brain and disorder of the Mind ; so that the dependence 
of the latter upon the former is not made out. But the very curious 
discovery was made a few years ago, by Dr. J. Hughlings Jackson, 
that the locally-impaired nutrition of the Brain in these cases is usu- 


ally attributable to " embolism " of the middle meningeal artery, 
whereby the passage of blood through it is greatly impeded ; this 
"embolism" consisting in the plugging of the artery by a fibrinous 
clot brought from the heart, where it has been produced by valvular 
disease. In the second of the cases just referred to, the usual brain- 
lesion having been found, and the middle meningeal artery having 
been examined, the fons et origo of the mischief was found to be, not 
" embolism," but a morbid deposit on the inner wall of the artery, 
producing a corresponding .obstruction to the circulation. Looking, 
then, to the fact that immediate cessation of Mental activity is dis- 
tinctly and unmistakably produced by the entire suspension of Blood- 
circulation through the Brain, how can the Physiologist refuse to 
recognize, in this local reduction of the Circulation, the Physical cause 
of that limited reduction of Psychical activity which so distinctly fol- 
lows it ? 

But further, this singular fact, taken in connection with the recent 
great extension of our knowledge as to the local alterations in the 
calibre of the Arteries, which are produced through the " Vaso-motor " 
system of Nerves, obviously points to the probability that the limit- 
ed but transient lapses of Memory just alluded to are due to a local 
reduction of the blood-supply in the part of the Cerebrum which min- 
isters to the lost function ; and that the sudden recovery which some- 
times occurs is the result of the renewal of the normal circulation, 
through the giving way of the impacted clot, or the yielding of the 
spasmodically-constricted arterial wall. 

Thus Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, was acquainted with a person of 
considerable attainments, who, on recovering from a fever, was found 
to have lost all his acquired knowledge. When his health was re- 
stored, he began to apply himself to the Latin Grammar; and, while, 
one day, making a strong effort to recollect a part of his lesson, the 
whole of his lost impressions suddenly returned to his remembrance^ 
so that he found himself at once in possession of all his former acquire- 
ments. The like sudden restoration, after an equally sudden loss, 
occurred in another case in which all acquired knowledge was lost for 
a whole year / and in both the loss and the recovery there was clear 
evidence of strong Emotional excitement, which is well known to the 
Physiologist to have a most powerful control over the calibre of the 

There is another class of familiar phenomena, which affords strong 
evidence of the dependence of the recording process upon Nutritive 
changes in the Brain. Every one is aware that what is rapidly learned 
that is, merely committed to Memory is very commonly forgotten 
as quickly, " one set of ideas driving out another." That thorough 
apprehension of what is learned, on the other hand, by which it is 
made (as it were) part of the Mental fabric, is a much slower process. 
The difference between the two is expressed by the colloquial term 


"cramming," as distinguished from "learning;" the analogy being 
obvious to the overloading the stomach with a mass of food too great 
to be digested and assimilated within a given time, so that a large 
part of it passes out of the body without having been applied to any 
good purpose in it. A part of this difference obviously consists in 
the formation of Mental Associations between the newly-acquired 
knowledge and that previously possessed ; so that the new ideas be- 
come linked on with the old by " suggesting " chains. Such is espe- 
cially the case, when we are applying ourselves to the study of any 
branch of knowledge, with the view of permanently mastering it ; 
and here the element of Time is found practically to be very impor- 
tant. Thus, it is recorded of the late Lord St. Leonard's that, hav- 
ing (as Sir Edward Sugden) been asked by Sir T. F. Buxton what 
was the secret of his success, his answer was: "I resolved, when 
beginning to read Law, to make every thing I acquired perfectly my 
own, and never to go to a second thing till I had entirely accomplished 
the first. Many of my competitors read as much in a day as I read 
in a week ; but, at the end of twelve months, my knowledge was as 
fresh as on the day it was acquired, while theirs had glided away 
from their recollection." (Memoirs of Sir T. F. Buxton, chap, xxiv.) 
In this Assimilating process, it is obvious that the new knowledge 
is (as it were) turned over and over in the Mind, and viewed in all its 
aspects ; so that, by its coming to be not merely an addition to the 
old, but to interpenetrate it, the old can scrarcely be brought into the 
" sphere of consciousness," without bringing the new with it. But, 
from the considerations already adduced, it seems almost beyond 
doubt that the formation of this Associative nexus expresses itself in 
the Physical structure of the Brain, so as to create a mechanism 
whereby it is perpetuated so long as the Nutrition of the organ is 
normally maintained. 

Another class of phenomena, now to be considered, seems to afford 
even more direct and cogent evidence of the dependence of Memory, 
in its simplest exercise, upon a registering process, that consists in 
some Nutritive modification of the Brain-tissue. In what we call 
"learning by heart" which should be rather called learning by 
Sense, instead of by Mind we try to imprint on our Memory a cer- 
tain sequence of words, numbers, musical notes, or the like ; the re- 
production of these being mainly dependent upon the association of 
each item with that which follows it, so that the utterance of the 
former, or the picture of it in " the mind's eye," suggests the next. 
We see this plainly enough when children are set to learn a piece of 
poetry of which their minds do not take in the meaning ; for the rhythm 
here affords a great help to the suggestive action; and nothing is 
more common than to hear words or clauses (transferred, perhaps, from 
some other part of the poem) substituted for the right ones, which are 
not only inappropriate but absolutely absurd in the lines as uttered. 


So, again, if the child is at fault, he does not think of the meaning 
of the sentence, and of what is wanted to complete it ; but " tries 
back" over the preceding words, that their sound may suggest that 
of the word he desiderates. So there are older persons, with whom 
the pictured remembrance of the words and phrases is more sugges- 
tive ; as in a case to be presently cited. Now, in these instances, it is 
a familiar fact that what is thus learned but once, however perfectly, 
soon " goes out of the head," being only fixed there by continual rep- 
etition ; and, as the Memory we are now considering is rather Sensorial 
than Ideational, this fact is confirmatory of the doctrine that seems 
probable on other grounds, of the superior (if not the exclusive) per- 
sistence of the latter. We seem distinctly able to trace the action 
of the recording process in this elementary form of Memory, in the 
help given in the " learning by heart " of a task, by repeating it the 
last thing at night ; for every school-boy, who has to commit to mem- 
ory fifty lines of Virgil, knows very well that, if he can " say them to 
himself," even slowly and bunglingly, just before going to sleep, he 
will be able to recite them much more fluently in the morning. The 
Physiologist sees here an obvious indication that the recording process 
has gone on without interruption by new impressions on the Sensori- 
um, so that there has been time for the fixation of the last by Nutritive 
chano-e. We have, indeed, a remarkable converse phenomenon, in the 
rapid fading away of a Dream, which, at the moment of waking, we 
can reproduce with extraordinary vividness ; for the " trace " left by 
its details is soon obliterated by the new and stronger impressions 
made on our waking Consciousness, so that, a few hours afterward, 
we are often unable to revive more than the general outline of the 
Dream and perhaps not even that, unless we have told it to another 
when it was fresh in our minds, of which act a "trace " would be left. 

There are two classes of persons who are professionally called upon 
for great temporary exercises of Memory, viz., Dramatic Performers 
and Barristers. An actor, when about to perform a new " part," not 
only, commits it to memory, but " studies" it, so as to make it part of 
himself; and all really great actors identify themselves for the time 
with the characters they are performing. When a " part " has once 
been thoroughly mastered, the performer is usually able to go through 
it, even after a long interval, with very little previous preparation. But 
an actor is sometimes called upon to take a new " part " at very short 
notice ; he then simply " learns it by heart," and speedily forgets it. 
A case of this kind is cited by Dr. Abercrombie, as having been the 
experience of a distinguished actor, on being called on to prepare 
himself in a long and difficult part, at a few hours' notice, in conse- 
quence of the illness of another performer. He acquired it in a very 
short time, and went through it with perfect accuracy ; but immediately 
after the performance forgot it to such a degree that, although he 
performed the character for several days in succession, he was obliged 


every day to prepare it anew not having time to go through the pro- * 
cess of " studying " it, to which Mrs. Siddons used to give weeks or 
even months. When questioned respecting the mental process which he 
employed the first time he performed the part, he said that he entirely 
lost sight of the audience, and seemed to have nothing before him hut 
the pages of the hook from which he had learned it ; and that, if any 
thing had occurred to interrupt this illusion, he should have instantly 
stopped. {Inquiry into the Intellectual Powers, fifth edition, p. 103.) 

In the case of Barristers, who are called upon to " get up " the 
" briefs " which are supplied to them, to master the facts, to apply to 
them the principles of Law, and to present them in the Court in the 
form which they deem most advantageous to the "cause" they have 
undertaken to plead, the very highest faculties of mind are called into 
active exercise ; but, in consequence, it would seem, of the want of 
previous connection with the " case " (of which they know nothing but 
what is set down in their "brief"), and of the complete cessation of 
that connection as soon as the decision has been given, they very com- 
monly " forget all about it " so soon as they have transferred their 
Attention to their next brief. A curious instance of this kind was 
mentioned to the writer a few years ago by an eminent Barrister (since 
elevated to the Judicial Bench), whose great scientific attainments led 
to his being frequently employed in Patent-cases. A " heavy " case 
of this kind was placed in his hands, and he was reminded of having 
been engaged by the same parties in the same " case " when it had 
been first brought to trial about a year previously. He had not the 
slightest remembrance of its having ever been before him ; none of 
the particulars of it seemed familiar to him; and he was only con- 
vinced that he really had taken part in the previous trial by finding 
the record of his engagement in his Fee-book. Even when he came 
to " get up " the case again, no remembrance of his former attention 
to it came within his " sphere of consciousness." 

It seems, then, to admit of question whether every thine/ that passes 
through our Minds thus leaves its impress on their Material instru- 
ment ; and whether a somewhat too extensive generalization has not 
been erected on a rather limited basis. For the doctrine of the indeli- 
bility of Memory rests on the spontaneous revival, under circumstances 
indicative of some change in the Physical condition of the Brain, of 
the long-dormant " traces " left by such former impressions as are re- 
ferable to one or other of the three following categories : 1. States of 
Consciousness as to places, persons, language, etc., which were habitual 
with us in early life, and which were, therefore, likely to have directed 
the groicth of the Brain ; 2. Modes of Thought in which the formation 
of Associations largely participates, and which are likely to have modi- 
fied the course of its maintenance by Nutrition after the attainment 
of maturity ; or 3. Single Experiences of peculiar force and vividness, 
such as are likely to have left very decided " traces," although the 


circumstances of their formation were so unusual as to keep them out 
of ordinary associational remembrance. Thus a remarkable case is 
mentioned by Dr. Abercombie (" Intellectual Powers," fifth edition, p. 
149) of a boy, who, at the age of four years, underwent the operation 
of trepanning, apparently in a state of perfect stupor, and who, after 
his recovery, retained no recollection either of the accident by which 
his skull was fractured, or of the operation, yet who, at the age of fif- 
teen, during the delirium of fever, gave his mother an account of the 
operation and of the persons who were present at it, with a correct de- 
scription of their dress, and other minute particulars of which it was 
scarcely possible that he could have acquired the knowledge from 
verbal information. Here it would seem that all the Mental power the 
patient then had must have been concentrated upon the impressions 
made upon his Sensorium, which were thus indelibly branded (as it 
were) upon his Organism ; but that these " traces," being soon covered 
up by those resulting from the new experiences of restored activity, 
remained outside the " sphere of consciousness " until revived by a 
Physical change which reproduced the images of the objects that had 
left them. 

The direct causal relation of Physical conditions to Mental states 
may be made still more clear by following out into some detail the 
phenomena of that peculiar form of Intoxication which is produced 
by Hashish a preparation of Indian hemp used in the Levant for the 
purpose of inducing what is termed the fantasia. The action of this 
drug was very carefully studied some years ago by M. Moreau, Physi- 
cian to the Bicetre, who had given great attention to the Psychology 
of Insanity, and whose special object was to throw light upon that 
subject by experimenting upon what he termed its artificial produc- 
tion. His treatise, " Du Hachisch, et de 1' Alienation Mentale " (Paris, 
1845), is one which deserves the attentive study of such as desire to 
base their Psychology upon a comprehensive survey of facts. 

One of the first appreciable effects of the Hashish, as of other Intoxi- 
cating agents, is the gradual weakening of that power of Volitionally 
controlling and directing the current of thought, the possession of 
which characterizes the vigorous mind. The individual feels himself 
incapable of fixing his attention upon any subject ; the continuity of 
his thoughts being continually drawn off by a succession of discon- 
nected ideas, which force themselves (as it were) into his mind, without 
his being able in the least to trace their origin. These speedily engross 
his attention, and present themselves in strange combinations, so as to 
produce the most impossible and fantastic creations. By a strong 
effort of the Will, however, the original thread of the ideas may still 
be recovered, and the interlopers may be driven away ; their remem- 
brance, however, being preserved, like that of a dream recalling events 
long since past. These lucid intervals progressively become shorter in 


duration, and can be less frequently procured by a voluntary effort ; 
for the internal tempest becomes more violent, the torrents of discon- 
nected ideas are so powerful as completely to arrest the attention, and 
the mind is gradually withdrawn altogether from the contemplation of 
external realities, being conscious only of its own internal workings. 
There is always preserved, however, a much greater amount of " self- 
consciousness " than exists in ordinary Dreaming ; the condition rather 
corresponding with that in which the sleeper knows that he dreams, 
and, if his dream be agreeable, makes an effort to prolong it, being 
conscious of a fear lest he should by awaking cause the dissipation of 
the pleasant illusion. 

It is another characteristic of the action of hashish that the suc- 
cession of ideas has at first less of incoherence than in ordinary Dream- 
ing, and the ideal events do not so far depart from possible realities ; 
the disorder of the mind being at first manifested in errors of sense, 
in false convictions, or in the predominance of one or more extravagant 
ideas. These ideas and convictions are generally not altogether of an 
imaginary character, but are rather suggested by external impressions, 
these impressions being erroneously interpreted by the perceptive fac- 
ulties, and giving origin, therefore, to fallacious notions of the objects 
which excited them. It is in that more advanced stage of the " fantasia ' 
which immediately precedes the complete withdrawal of the mind from 
external things, and in which the self-consciousness and power of the 
Will are weakened, that this perverted impressibility becomes most re- 
markable, more especially as the general excitement of the Feelings 
causes the erroneous notions to have a powerful effect in arousing them. 

"We become," says H. Moreau, "the sport of impressions of the most op- 
posite kind ; the continuity of our ideas may be broken by the slightest cause. 
We are turned, to use a common expression, by every wind. By a word or a 
gesture our thoughts may be successively directed to a multitude of different 
subjects with a rapidity and a lucidity which are truly marvellous. The mind 
becomes possessed with a feeling of pride corresponding with the exaltation of 
its faculties, of whose increase in energy and power it becomes conscious. It 
will be entirely dependent on the circumstances in which we are placed, the 
objects which strike our eyes, the words which fall on our ears, whether the 
most lively sentiments of gayety or of sadness shall be produced, or passions of 
the most opposite character shall be excited, sometimes with extraordinary vio- 
lence ; for irritation shall rapidly pass into rage, dislike to hatred and desire of 
vengeance, and the calmest affection to the most transporting passion. Fear 
becomes terror, courage is developed into rashness, which nothing checks, and 
which seems not to be conscious of danger, and the most unfounded doubt or 
suspicion becomes a certainty. The Mind has a tendency to exaggerate every 
thing ; and the slightest impulse carries it along. Those who make use of the 
Hashish in the East, when they wish to give themselves up to the intoxication 
of the fantasia, take care to withdraw themselves from every ..thing which 
could give to their delirium a tendency to melancholy, or excite in them any 
thing else than feelings of pleasurable enjoyment ; but they profit by all the 
means which the dissolute manners of the East place at their disposal." 


The disturbance of the Perceptive Faculties is remarkably shown 
in regard to Time and Space. Minutes seem hours, and hours are pro- 
longed into years ; and at last all idea of Time seems obliterated, and 
the past and present are confounded together. M. Moreau mentions 
as an illustration, that on one evening he was traversing the passage 
of the Opera when under the influence of a moderate dose of Hashish. 
He had made but a few steps, when it seemed to him as if he had been 
there two or three hours ; and, as he advanced, the passage appeared 
to him interminable, its extremity receding as he pressed forward. But 
he gives another more remarkable instance. In walking along the 
Boulevards, he has frequently seen persons and things at a certain dis- 
tance presenting the same aspect as if he had viewed them through 
the large end of an opera-glass that is, diminished in apparent size, 
and therefore suggesting the idea of increased distance. This erro- 
neous perception of Space is one of the effects of the Amanita muscaria, 
an intoxicating Fungus used by the Tartars ; a person under its in- 
fluence being said to take a jump or a stride sufficient to clear the 
trunk of a ti*ee when he wishes only to step over a straw or a small 
stick. Such erroneous perceptions are common enough among Lu- 
natics, and become the foundations of fixed illusions ; while in the 
person intoxicated by Hashish there is still a certain consciousness of 
their deceptive character. 

Though all the Senses appear to be peculiarly impressible in this 
condition, yet that of Hearing seems the one through which the great- 
est influence may be exerted upon the Mind, especially through the 
medium of musical sounds. The celebrated artist, M. Theodore Gaul- 
tier, describes himself as hearing sounds from colors, which produced 
undulations that were perfectly distinct to him. But he goes on to 
say that the slightest deep sound produced the effect of rolling thun- 
der; his own voice seemed so tremendous to him that he did not dare 
to speak out for fear of throwing down the walls, or of himself burst- 
ing like a bomb ; more than five hundred clocks seemed to be striking 
the hour with a variety of tones, etc., etc. Of course, those individuals 
who have a natural or an acquh-ed " musical ear " are the most likely 
to be influenced by the concord or succession of sweet sounds ; and in 
such the simplest music of the commonest instrument, or even an air 
sung by a voice in a mediocre style, shall excite the strongest emotions 
of joy or melancholy, according as the air is cheerful or plaintive ; 
the mental excitement being communicated to the body, and being 
accompanied with muscular movements of a semi-convulsive nature. 
This influence of music is not merely sensual, but depends, like that 
of other external impressions, upon the associations which it excites, 
and upon the habitual disposition to connect it with the play of the 
Imaginative faculties. 

It is seldom that the excitement produced by the Hashish fixes 
itself upon any particular train of Ideas, and gives rise to a settled 


delusion ; for in general one set of ideas chases another so rapidly, 
that there is not time for either of them to engross the attention of 
the intellect; more especially since (as already remarked) there is 
usually such a degree of self-consciousness preserved throughout, as 
prevents the individual from entirely yielding himself up to the 
suggestions of his ideal faculties. M. Moreau mentions, however, 
that on one occasion, having taken an overdose, and being sensible of 
unusual effects, he thought himself poisoned by the friend who had 
administered it, and persisted in this idea in spite of every proof to 
the contrary until it gave way to another, namely, that he was dead, 
and was about to be buried; his self-consciousness, however, being 
yet so far preserved that he believed his body only to be defunct, his 
soul having quitted it. But when this is altogether suspended, as it 
seems to be by a larger dose, the erroneous ideas become transformed 
into convictions, taking full possession of the mind ; although sudden 
gleams of common-sense burst through the mists of the imagination, 
and show the illusive nature of the pictures which the " Internal 
Senses " have impressed on the Sensorium. All this as every one 
knows, who has made the phenomena of Insanity his study has its 
exact representation in the different stages of Mental Derangement ; 
the illusive ideas and erroneous convictions being in the first instance 
capable of being dissipated by a strong effort of the Will, gradually 
exerting a stronger and stronger influence on the general current of 
Thought, and at last acquiring such complete mastery over it that 
the Reason cannot be called into effective operation for the correction 
of the perverted Ideas. 

Here, then, we have an extraordinary exaltation of the Automatic 
action of the Brain, manifesting itself in the rapidity and intensity of 
the current of Thought ; while the controlling power of the Will is 
not only relatively, but absolutely reduced. And this modification 
of the normal form of mental activity is clearly referable to the per- 
version of the normal action of the Blood upon the Brain, which is due 
to the introduction of a new Physical agent into the former. The 
production of errors of Perception, arising from the tendency to mag- 
nification of the impressions actually made on the senses, is a pecul- 
iarly interesting feature of this perversion ; which is clearly a mental 
misinterpretation, not at all corresponding to the mere double vision 
of the drunken man, which is an error of sense arising from the tem- 
porary want of adjustment of the axes of the eyes. And with this 
magnification there is connected a sentiment of happiness which at- 
tends all the operations of the mind. 

" It is really happiness,'''' says M. Moreau, " which is produced by the 
Hashish ; and by this I imply an enjoyment entirely Moral, and hy no means 
sensual, as we might he induced to suppose. This is surely a very curious cir- 
cumstance, and some remarkable inferences might be drawn from it ; this, for 
instance, among others that every feeling of joy and gladness, even when the 


cause of it is exclusively moral that those enjoyments which are least con- 
nected with material objects, the most spiritual, the most ideal may be nothing 
else than sensations purely physical, developed in the interior of the system, as 
are those procured by the Hashish. At least, so far as relates to that of which 
we are internally conscious, there is no distinction between these two orders of 
sensations, in spite of the diversity in the causes to which they are due ; for the 
Hashish-eater is happy, not like the gourmand or the famished man when 
satisfying his appetite, or the voluptuary in gratifying his amative desires ; but 
like him who hears tidings which fill him with joy, like the miser counting his 
treasures, the gambler who is successful at play, or the ambitious man who is 
intoxicated with success." 

Most persons will be able to recall analogous states of exhilaration, 
and the reverse condition of depression, in themselves; the former 
being characterized by a feeling of general well-being, a sentiment of 
pleasure in the use of all the bodily and mental powers, and a dis- 
position to look with enjoyment upon the present, and with hope to 
the future ; while in the latter state there is a feeling of general but 
indefinable discomfort. Every exertion, whether Mental or Bodily, is 
felt as a burden ; the present is wearisome, and the future is gloomy. 
These, like all other phases of Human Nature, are faithfully portrayed 
by Shakespeare. Thus Borneo gives expression to the feelings inspired 
by the first state : 

" My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne ; 
And, all this day, an unaccustomed spirit 
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts." 

{Romeo and Juliet, V., 1.) 

While the reverse state is delineated by Hamlet in his familiar 
soliloquy : 

" I have of late but wherefore I know not lost all my mirth, foregone all 
custom of exercises ; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that 
this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory ; this most ex- 
cellent canopy, the air, look you this brave o'erhanging firmament, this ma- 
jestic roof fretted with golden fire, why it appears no other thing to me than a 
foul and pestilent congregation of vapors." {Hamlet, II., 2.) 

In the conditions here referred to, the same feelings of pleasure 
and discomfort attend all the operations of the mind the merely 
Sensational and the Intellectual. In the state of exhilaration, we feel 
a gratification from sensations which at other times pass unnoticed, 
while those which are usually pleasurable are remarkably enhanced ; 
and in like manner, the trains of Ideas which are started being gener- 
erally attended with similar agreeable feelings, we are said to be under 
the influence of the pleasurable or elevating Emotions. On the other 
hand, in the state of depression we feel an indescribable discomfort 
from the very sensations which before produced the liveliest gratifi- 
cation ; and the thoughts of the past, the present, and the future, 


which we before dwelt on with delight, now excite no feelings hut 
those of pain, or at best of insouciance. 

Now, there are many persons in whom these opposite Emotional 
states are induced by Meteorological conditions; the one by a dry, 
clear, bright atmosphere; the other by that close, damp, "muggy" 
state of the air, which seems to lay a " wet blanket " upon all their 
enjoyment, both bodily and mental. And precisely the same depressing 
influence is often experienced from deficient action of the liver, causing 
an accumulation of the materials of bile in the blood ; and it is just as 
apparent to the Physician that the elimination of these by appropriate 
remedies, so as to restore the Blood to its normal purity, thereby re- 
moves the Moral depression, as it is that the introduction of a minute 
quantity of Hashish into the Blood produces a Moral exaltation. 

In these days of eager competition, again, it is extremely common 
for a psychical state to be induced by the overtasking of the Brain, 
which every intelligent medical practitioner recognizes as essentially 
physical in its origin, but which yet manifests itself chiefly in moral, 
and not unfrequently, also, in intellectual perversion. The excess of 
activity is followed, as its natural result, by a state of depression ; in 
which the subject of it looks at every thing, past, present, and future, 
in a gloomy light, as through a darkened glass. His whole life has 
been evil ; he has brought ruin on his affairs ; his dearest friends are 
in league to injure him. At first this moral perversion extends itself 
only to a misinterpretation of actual occurrences, which only differs in 
degree from that which we observe in persons of a morose temper. 
But, with the advance of the disorder, the mind dwells on its own 
morbid imaginings, till they come to take the place of actual facts ; 
and in this way hallucinations are generated i. e., creations of the 
imagination, which are accepted as real occurrences. Now, here there 
is no primary intellectual perversion ; the reasoning powers are not 
disturbed; the patient can discuss with perfect sanity any question 
that does not touch his morbid feelings; but the representations shaped 
by his own mind, under the influence of these feelings, being received 
as truths to the exclusion of his common-sense, all his actions are based 
on those erroneous data. This condition is merely an intensification 
of that just described ; and the Physician can no more doubt that it 
depends upon an unhealthy condition of the bodily frame, than that 
the delirium of fever and the fantasia of Hashish are dependent upon 
the presence of a poison in the blood. 

The Psychologist who neglects such phenomena as these, merely 
because the inferences drawn from them by the Physiologist have a 
dangerous flavor of " materialism," seems to me just as blameworthy 
as the Physiologist who ignores the facts of consciousness, when they 
do not happen to fit in with his own conclusions. The true Psycholo- 
gist is he who lays the foundations of his science broad and deep in 


the whole constitution of the individual man, and his relations to the 
"World external to him ; and aims to build it up with the materials 
furnished by Experience of every kind, mental and bodily, normal 
and abnormal ; ignoring no fact, however strange, that is attested by 
valid evidence, and accepting none, however authoritatively sanc- 
tioned, that will not stand the test of thorough scrutiny. 

It is very easy, and doubtless very pleasant, to dispose of " Cere- 
bration " by a sneer ; but those who do so may be fairly called upon 
in the first place to acquaint themselves with a class of facts which 
they have never studied ; and, when they have examined them, may 
be challenged to give some better and more scientific rationale of them 
than that here offered. I should myself rejoice to welcome any new 
light that metaphysics can throw upon such questions as the following : 

1. What other than "Physical Antecedents" excite those states of 
Consciousness which we call Sensations, and the Pleasure and Pain 
associated with them ? 

2. Does not all Psychological as well as Physiological probability 
point to the identity of the Sensorial instrumentality through which 
we become conscious (1) of a present Impression, and (2) of a remem- 
bered Sensation ? 

3. If, then, a Visual perception be immediately dependent on a 
Physical change in the Sensorium, excited (through the optic nerve) 
by a Physical change in the Retina, is it not probable that a Visual 
conception depends on a corresponding Physical change in the Sen- 
sorium, called forth (through the "nerves of the internal senses") by 
a Physical change in the cortical substance of the Cerebrum ? 

4. As Sensational Consciousness can be excited by " Physical An- 
tecedents," why should not Ideational and Emotional f 

5. Is there not Psychological as well as Physiological evidence 
that the excitement of the Ideational consciousness is the residt of a 
series of Physical changes taking place in the Cerebrum, as the action 
of a Mechanism created by its preformed Habits ? In what other way 
are the facts (admitted by Psychologists of all schools) to be accounted 
for, which indicate the suggestion of one Idea by another through a 
chain of Associations, some links of which lie outside the " sphere of 
consciousness ? " 

6. Is it conceivable that such an oft-recurring phenomenon as the 
loss of some branch of acquired Knowledge, after a blow on the head 
or a fever, is a mere coincidence f If not, on what other hypothesis 
than that of " Physical antecedence" can the blow be the cause of this 
Mental effect? 

7. Is there not as much evidence that " Physical Antecedents " may 
produce Moral Pleasure and Pain, as that they produce Sensorial 
Pleasure and Pain ? 

3. If in any case we admit Physical antecedence as the Cause (in 
the ordinary language of Science) of Mental Phenomena, why not in 


every case of automatic Mental activity ? whether this be left alto- 
gether uncontrolled, or be in subjection to the will. 

9. "When a series of Physical sequences comes to be established by 
the Habitual action of the Cerebrum in particular modes directed or 
permitted by the Will, is it not consonant to all Physiological proba- 
bility that the tendency to similar sequences should be hereditarily 
transmitted, like the tendency to bodily habits ? Contemporary Re- 




IN the vegetable world, limits of growth and life are strangely 
diversified. Multitudes of forms mature and perish in a few days 
or hours ; while others, whose beginning was in a remote antiquity, 
have survived the habitual period of their kind, and still enjoy the 
luxuriance of their prime. Some species of unicellular plants are so 
minute that millions occur in the bulk of a cubic inch, and a flowering 
plant is described by Humboldt, which, when fully developed, is not 
more than three-tenths of an inch in height. On the other hand, we 
have the great Sequoia, whose mass is expressed by hundreds of tons, 
and specimens of the Eucalyptus, growing in the gulches of Australia, 
surpass in height the dome of St. Peter's. 

Some of the Fungi mature between the setting and rising of the 
sun, while the oak at our door, which awakens the memories of our 
childhood, has not perceptibly changed in bulk in half a century. 
Trees grow more slowly as they increase in age. Nevertheless, it is 
certain that growth continues while they continue to live. The devel- 
opment of foliage implies interstitial activity and organization of new 
material. In its vital processes there is little expenditure of force or 
waste of substance. Its functions are essentially constructive, and its 
growth and age are apparently without limits, excepting such as arise 
from surrounding conditions. Thus many trees represent centuries, 
and have a permanence that is astonishing and sublime. Travellers 
stand awe-struck before the monuments which for forty centuries have 
kept watch by the Nile, but the oldest of these may not antedate the 
famous dragon-tree of Teneriffe. It is not surprising that the ancients 
considered trees " immortal," or, as " old as Time." 

But, if the life of the tree is continuous, its leaves the organs of 
its growth have their periods of decay, and are types of mortality. 
The life of man is likened to the " leaf that perishes." In an animal, 
the vital processes are carried on by a single set of organs, the im- 
pairment of which limits the period of its life. With the tree, decay 

VOL. III. 21 



of the organs is followed by constant renovation, and the foliage which 
covers it the present summer is as new and as young as that which 
adorned it a hundred or a thousand years ago. Trees which shed 
their leaves annually, or at longer intervals as do the evergreens, 

Fm. 1. 

Section of Trunk of Fib-Tree, showing the Annual Kings of Growth. 

grow by formation of new wood in layers upon their outer surface, and 
just beneath the bark. These constitute the class Exogens, or outside 
growers, as shown in Fig. 1. This plate, with others used to illustrate 
this article, are from Figuier's " Vegetable World," and have been 
placed at our disposal by the publishers of that interesting work. 

Fig. 2. 

Section of Palm, without Annual Rings. 

A layer represents the growth of a year. Where these are acces- 
sible, there is no difficulty in ascertaining the age of a tree, or the rate 


3 2 3 

of its growth ; and the rate thus ascertained may be applied to other 
trees of its kind whose diameter is known, although its woody layers 
he inaccessible. In this way the age of many trees has been esti- 
mated. The relation between the age of a tree and its annual rings 
was first noticed and applied by Montaigne, in 1581. 

Fi<;. ?.. 


But this method of ascertaining a tree's age does not apply to the 
class Endogens, in which the growth is internal, as shown in Fig. 2. 































In these a hard, inflexible shell forms around the inner portions, the 
tree increases little in diameter, and no woody layers are found. To 
this class belong the Palms, of which Fig. 3 is an illustration. The 
age of this class of trees is estimated by comparing specimens with 
others whose age is known, or from an ascertained rate of growth. 
The oldest palms may not exceed five centuries, and their average 
period is probably less than 200 years. The height of the tallest of 
the species is said to be 192 feet. Trees growing in dense forests are 
comparatively short-lived, and attain less bulk than those in open 
places, where side-branches develop in the unobstructed rays of the 
sun. In similar conditions the age and dimensions attained by trees 
of each species are tolerably constant. Thus the average period of 
oaks and pines may be 300 or 400 years ; but the exceptions are so 
numerous and wonderful, that we shall present in this paper a few of 
the most interesting and best-authenticated instances. 

Of the white-pines, once the glory of the New England forests, we 
are not aware that any have been found more than 430 years old. Nor 
have we any oaks of extraordinary age. The Charter-oak at Hart- 
ford may have been a small tree at the first settlement of New Eng- 
land. The Wadsworth oak, at Geneseo, New York, is said to be five 
centuries old, and 2 V feet in circumference at the base. The massive, 
slow-growing live-oaks, of Florida, are worthy of notice, on account 
of the enormous length of their branches. Bartram says : " I have 
stepped 50 paces in a straight line from the trunk of one of these 
trees to the extremity of the limbs." 

The oaks of Europe are among the grandest of trees. The Cow- 
thorpe oak is 78 feet in circuit at the ground, and is at least 1,800 
years old. Another, in Dorsetshire, is of equal age. In Westphalia 
is a hollow oak, which was used as a place of refuge in the troubled 
times of mediaeval history. 

The great oak at Saintes, in Southern France, is 90 feet in girth, 
and has been ascertained to be 2,000 years old. This monument, still 
or recently flourishing, commemorates a period which antedates the 
first campaign of Julius Caesar ! 

The oriental plane-tree is noted in Eastern countries for its size 
and longevity. Fig. 4 represents one near Constantinople, which is 
100 feet high, and 150 feet in circuit. It has been suggested that 
this is really a group of trees originally planted near together for 
their shade. The figure, however, hardly confirms that opinion, and 
many trees of this species are mentioned by travellers not greatly in- 
ferior to this one in dimensions. 

Most of the old plane-trees are hollow, their tops being sustained 
by wood of recent growth. In this respect an exogenous tree resem- 
bles a coral-reef, where the vitality and growth are at the surface 

Of chestnuts, we have the famous one at Tort worth, in Glou- 






cestershire, England, which was a large tree in the reign of King 
Stephen, and is over 1,000 years old. Fig. 5 represents the " Great 
Chestnut of Mount Etna," consisting, at present, of what appears to 
be several trees, fragments of the original one. By a writer in the 
North American Hevieio, for July, 1844, these are supposed to be 
shoots from, rather than portions of, the old tree. 

Jean Houel, who examined the trees, says " they are portions of 
one tree." By removing the soil, the outer rim of the tree has been 
found, and the circumference ascertained to be 175 feet. Other chest- 
nuts near this are in girth 64, 70, and 72 feet respectively. 

The lime or linden, in Europe, is an important tree. Those in the 
town of Morat are celebrated in the history of Switzerland. One 
was planted in 1476 to commemorate the defeat of the Burgundians, 
under Charles the Bold ; the other was a noted tree at the time of the 
battle, and is now near nine centuries old. But, equally famous is the 
one at Wilrtemberg, called the " Great Linden," six centuries ago. It 
is, probably, 1,000 years old, and measures 35|- half*feet in girth. 
Four and a half centuries ago its branches were supported by 67 col- 
umns of stone, now increased to 106, many of which are " covered 
with inscriptions." 

The well-known olive-tree is associated with our most cherished 
recollections. There is an old one near Nice, 24 feet in girth, re- 
garded by the inhabitants with great interest. Those on the Mount 
of Olives may be contemporary with the Christian era. They are 
known to have been in existence in 1217, when the Turks captured 

The evergreen cypress, long celebrated for its longevity, is abun- 
dant in the burial-grounds of Eastern nations, and, from it dark, 
dense foliage, forms an impressive feature of Oriental landscapes. In 
the Palace Gardens of Granada are cypresses said to be 800 years old ; 
and there is one at Somma, in Lombardy, proved by authentic docu- 
ments "to have been a considerable tree 40 years before the Chris- 
tian era." Of this family of trees is our well-known white cedar, 
specimens of which, exhumed from the meadows on the coast of New 
Jersey, had from 700 to 1,000 rings of wood solid and fragrant as 
if of recent growth. 

The cedars of Lebanon are often referred to in the Sacred Writings. 
The present trees are, 'we believe, seven large ones, with many of 
smaller growth, situated in an elevated valley of the Lebanon Moun- 
tains, 6,172 feet above the Mediterranean. The valley is surrounded 
by peaks of the mountains, which rise 3,000 feet higher, and are cov- 
ered with snow. Fig. 6 may give some idea of their massive gran- 
deur. De Candolle supposes the oldest are 1,200 years old, but no 
sections of their wood have been examined to determine their age. 
The cedar is known to grow slow